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Family says daughter suffered from medical issue, not father's abuse

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on Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:28
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Family says daughter suffered from medical issue, not father's abuse

A father was jailed for six months accused of abusing his then-3-week-old daughter. Now, he's out free on a reduced bond after doctors came forward in his defense.

Lance Finner was believed to be the one responsible when the daughter broke multiple bones.

"He fell asleep holding her and, when he woke up, she was on the ground," says wife Marquita Finner.

The couple immediately rushed to the hospital and told the staff what happened, but no one believed their story. Doctors said, rather, someone had shaken the baby which is why the bones had broken.

"It sickens me; it sickened him. He is such a kind-hearted person who loves kids, who loves family. Our whole family is like that. To think anybody could accuse us of any kind of child abuse, it's sickening,"  says Marquita.

Lance was taken to the Macomb County Jail on a first-degree child abuse charge where he has spent the last six months. A judge set his bond at 2 million dollars.

Meanwhile, his family has been fighting to prove Lance's innocence. They spoke with expert attorneys and doctors who have concluded the girl suffered from Vitamin Deficiency Rickets, which caused the brittle bones. Marquita says they also say her daughter's injuries could have been from birth.

Lance is now out on bond after his bond was reduced to $10,000.

The family says this situation, although unfortunate, is not uncommon.

"These doctors estimate that thousands of families around the nation are being falsely convicted because of misdiagnoses.

Please help Lance Finner and his family receive justice and be reunited!

(Updated 4-21-14) Lance Finner is a husband and the father of 3 beautiful children. Lance’s 3 week old daughter suffered from Vitamin D Deficiency Rickets. She was misdiagnosed, and Lance now faces up to life in prison on a charge of First Degree Child Abuse.

After working his shift at the factory, on October 31, 2013, Lance was up late caring for his 3 week old girl. He fell asleep with her on his shoulder after burping her, and woke up to his precious baby girl on the ground. His wife and the other two children were asleep just feet away. He noticed that there was clearly something wrong with her leg. Lance has a very tender heart and was devastated from the accident. He woke his wife quickly and they rushed the girl to the local ER.

They were quickly transferred to another hospital. X-rays were done and they claim to have found a fractured femur and multiple other fractures of various stages of healing. At this point it seemed that it was already determined that the injuries were intentionally inflicted and Lance was guilty of first degree child abuse. Family members questioned doctors about their conclusions, only to be given unsatisfactory answers.

Family members knew something wasn’t right. They trusted Lance and didn’t think he would hurt his child. The girl didn’t have a scratch or bruise. No internal damage. No head injuries. No signs of trauma. Lance had no violent past. The other two older children were never abused. Family members, including one that worked in the medical field, knew enough to know that there were many other possible medical explanations for the injuries. Family members knew the hospital jumped to conclusions before the necessary test were done to eliminate other explanations for injuries.

In fact, the tests were never done. Lance was arrested and given a $2,000,000 bond. The mother was accused of failure to protect. The 3 children were taken and placed into temporary custody with the grandparents. The media destroyed the family's reputation with erroneous, one-sided reports (Update 4-29-14: we are grateful for the recent coverage allowing the family to share our side of the story). The family, in disbelief, began doing research. It turns out that their situation is not all that uncommon. Similar stories can be found here. The family found out quickly that seeking justice would be costly. The family has no funds to go towards legal fees, so this website was launched. The family was contacted by others who have been involved in similar cases and were willing to help.

The family has been in contact with expert attorneys and doctors. They've had to arrange for test to be done that were not done at the hospital. A doctor that specializes in bones has looked at the test results, the medical records, and the x-rays taken from the hospital and has determined that there is “NO DOUBT” that the girl suffered from Vitamin D Deficiency Rickets. There was a severe mineralization problem along with a very low vitamin D level in the mom and baby. This condition causes very brittle bones. The kind of femur fracture that the hospital found could have most certainly been caused by the accidental fall in the 3 week old with brittle bones. This doctor's report can be found here. The girl was also diagnosed with Vitamin D Deficiency and Infantile Rickets by world renown vitamin D expert Dr. Michael Holick. His report can be found here.

The hospital claimed that there were other fractures of various stages of healing. But every major hospital that examined the x-rays gave a different guess as to the age and how many “fractures” they saw (using the same x-rays from the night of the accident). Well these experts pointed out that the “fractures” that the hospital is referring to are actually further evidence of brittle bones and the condition mentioned above.

These findings have been encouraging and have confirmed what family and friends believed all along. But these findings alone are not enough. Despite the judge from the preliminary exam saying “the evidence isn’t strong enough to convict him” and “it’s not enough for beyond a reasonable doubt.” the case has been bound to circuit court and he will stand trial. Despite having evidence that contradicts their diagnosis, the hospital will most likely NOT back down from their diagnosis. The family will have to pay to have experts and doctors testify. The family will have to pay to have more doctors review the medical records and confirm the diagnosis. Lance was the only one working and has been sitting in jail for the past six months. As sad as it sounds, the family cannot afford justice.

Please help this family to be reunited. This is not right.  If you can, please consider donating to help the family hire expert witnesses and doctors. If you can’t donate, please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers and pass this site along to others that may be able to help.