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Florida judge denies parents custody of cancer-stricken child: 'Substantial risk of imminent neglect'
Image source: WFTS-TV video screenshot

Florida judge denies parents custody of cancer-stricken child: 'Substantial risk of imminent neglect'

Probably not what they had in mind

A Florida judge denied Joshua McAdams, 27, and Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, custody of their 4-year-old son, Noah, who has cancer.

McAdams and Bland-Ball previously insisted that they would pursue alternative avenues of treatment for their son beyond conventional medicine. In response, a court removed the child from the couple's custody.

What are the details?

Hillsborough County Judge Thomas Palermo concluded that 4-year-old Noah would remain in the care of his maternal grandmother and continue chemotherapy treatment. In April, the court ordered that the child would undergo such therapy for his diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is a cancer of the blood and bone.

Previously, McAdams and Bland-Ball permitted Noah to go through two rounds of chemotherapy — which took place over a period of just 12 days — before declaring him free of cancer cells. The couple "refused to follow up with the life-saving medical care" of chemotherapy, and left the state of Florida to seek out alternative, holistic treatments for their son. The couple opted to treat the child with CBD oils, vitamins, and an alkaline diet.

Police obtained an emergency order to take Noah into child protective services, and the child was placed in the care of his maternal grandmother. Police took McAdams and Bland-Ball into custody on charges of child neglect. The two smiled broadly as they posed for their mugshots.

During an August court hearing, the judge questioned the parental fitness of McAdams and Bland-Ball. According to the Daily Mail, "The court heard that when Bland-Ball and McAdams removed Noah from treatment, he had a PICC line in him, which is essentially a thin, soft tube which is inserted into a large vein in either the arm, leg or neck, and carries blood to the heart that can be extremely dangerous to remove."

Bland-Ball admitted that she took out the line, and said that she was comfortable doing so because she watched a video on YouTube.

Anything else?

Prosecutors also brought up previous incidents of McAdams' alleged domestic violence. Authorities arrested McAdams in 2016 on a misdemeanor battery charge after he reportedly struck Bland-Ball with a plastic toy while she was holding Noah. The toy reportedly struck Noah in the face, and cut him. McAdams also purportedly shoved Bland-Ball against a wall "multiple times."

The case was dropped in 2017.

The Daily Mail also reported that Palermo insisted that if Noah was returned to his parents' care, "he would be at 'substantial risk of imminent neglect,' and remaining with his grandparents was the 'only way to ensure Noah's health, safety and well-being.'"

McAdams and Bland-Ball could potentially regain custody by working with the state's child protective agency to meet all of the requirements set by the court.

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