Despite the fact that the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) filed for Lou Pelletier, the father of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier who is being held against her parents’ will, to be held in contempt of court, Lou joined Glenn on radio this morning to discuss what comes next in the fight to save his daughter’s life.
Below is a rough transcript of the interview:
GLENN: I can’t believe that Lou is coming on again, but he is on the phone with us now from Connecticut. Hello, Lou.
LOU: Good morning, again. And again, many, many thanks to you and your team for spreading the word of Justina’s nightmare.
GLENN: So what happened? When did you hear — can you even talk about any of this?
LOU: We’re all in, Glenn. We’re here to save my daughter Justina.
GLENN: Okay. So when did they call you and tell you, and what could possibly happen to you now?
LOU: I was actually at the train station, which was — speaking of another system — took forever to get back from New York to Connecticut last night. But I was at the train station waiting and I got the email from my attorney that Mass DCF has filed the contempt of court for speaking to the media, which violates the gag order.
GLENN: And the punishment for that is what?
LOU: It can either be a civil punishment, but it could be criminal.
GLENN: So speaking out to try to save your daughter you could — a civil punishment would be that they will fine you.
GLENN: Which is, good news is, I don’t know if you know this, you don’t have anything left anyway. So good luck collecting that one. But the other is you could go to jail. How long could you go to jail for?
LOU: Don’t no.
GLENN: Do you know now what you’re going to — what’s going to happen? I mean, when do you — how do you fight this, what, do you go — have to go to court now? What, because you’re doing it again.
LOU: As of now we do have a regular court date session scheduled for February 24th, this coming Monday. I have not heard if we need to be there earlier. Because the first time when this whole gag order issue came out, which was November 17th, I literally had to hop in a car and get to Boston within two hours to be in front of the judge. So who knows if they’ll wait until Monday, the next scheduled court date, or they’ll try to do something sooner.
GLENN: All right. So tell me what else happened. Tell me, is there any good news that has happened since yesterday?
LOU: Well, again as I said when we first got on, thank you so much. People have been flagged us obviously with donations, with God bless each and every one of you people out there because we are fighting the two-headed monster, the ultimate David against Goliath, State of Massachusetts and DCF, Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital. And their pockets are pretty deep. So again, many, many thanks to everybody that’s contributed.
GLENN: Well, I want you to know, Lou, that I was in the meeting this morning and we wanted to call and verify what we had heard, that, you know, you were getting hit from DCF. And I instructed TheBlaze and all of my entire, you know, media empire, if you will, TheBlaze television, TheBlaze.com, Blaze Radio that this is the story, we are doing this story that we’ve done this one other time before and it was with Terri Schiavo. And so I pushed all the chips in the center of the table today, and we will do whatever we can to help right this wrong and –
LOU: Thank you so much.
GLENN: — make sure she’s not forgotten. I think they are literally trying to bury this story.
LOU: Because there’s other pieces too that also need to come out because, you know, it’s so hard even in an hour to try to explain the length of what’s going on.
GLENN: Give me –
LOU: One of the things I didn’t even mention, when Justina was 6 or 7, she had a stroke which we didn’t even know about it. It was the left side of her brain. It was a massive stroke. Severely impacted her short-term memory. So one of the things is stress, that little thing that we’ve been living with for the last year, for somebody who has a stroke and has mitochondrial disease can push them over the edge, could lead them to another massive stroke or worse.
GLENN: Seizures, yeah. Well, is there anything that you — anything that we can do right now, anything you want to share before we let you go and spend time with your attorneys, who I’m sure you’re going to be spending time with?
LOU: Biggest thing is, as I said yesterday, there are people with the power to stop this now. The governors of both states hide behind legal things. But the governors, the attorney generals, DCF commissioners all have the power, executive authority, to stop this.
GLENN: Do you have the numbers and everything on FreeJustina.com?
LOU: They’re out there. They have been posted. If you go to the — there are other, along with, you know, the original site was a Miracle for Justina, which, the judge even put a gag on that. Part of that November 17th gag order was we were not allowed to add anything to the A Miracle for Justina website. So many other websites have been spawned.
GLENN: What do you mean you’re not — what do you mean you’re not allowed to add anything to that?
LOU: When that gag order was issued, first of all, we knew nothing of it. It was set in a sidebar basically. You know, we were just told to not add anything to the Free Justina — to A Miracle for Justina. And this whole idea that we can’t speak to the media and all this stuff, you know, was not said directly to us, which, jeez, I thought we had the thing called the First Amendment and that’s why we’re at the stage we’re at right now, making sure we get the word out to try to save our daughter’s life.
PAT: Lou, has Duval Patrick said anything about this at all? Has he brought this up? Has he mentioned it?
LOU: Not to me personally.
PAT: Has he spoken to anybody in the media?
LOU: But if you just Google Mass DCF and Duval Patrick, he’s had a few other things going on in his plate up there.
LOU: Kids, you know, a third of the Mass DCF social workers not licensed, kids dying left and right you understand their watch. You can just pick your — you know, they are trying to get rid of Olga Roche, the DCF commissioner who Duval Patrick is backing to the Nth degree. So I think that’s been taking up a little bit of his time versus the story of a child that not even from his state that they have full control over.
STU: Good news is people are starting to move here, Lou. Right now on Twitter nationally, the hashtag freeJustina is trending for the first time that we know of. And that’s the people just starting to wake up on this story and just starting to hear about it. So at least there’s some positive momentum.
GLENN: Can I tell you something, Lou? I thought about this, this morning in the meeting. As you’re sitting there in bed at night and if you’re anything like my wife and I, you know, we’ll go to bed and that’s when we really start to talk, and I have to believe that there have been times when you have said “We’ve got to speak out. We have got to do this. We are going to post on — we’re going to post on Free — or A Miracle for Justina. We’re going to do it.” And you had the argument back and forth, “Honey, you can’t. Because it will make things worse. Because if you make things worse, then what good are you? And we’ve got to keep the family going.” I mean, you have had to have those conversations with your wife.
LOU: Many times. Because it’s a double, double-edge sword. Can something happen to me? Well, I’ll take the bullet for that. But even more importantly, can they do something even worse to Justina, above and beyond what they’ve already done to her. You know, she’s defenseless. From the get-go she’s totally been treated than any other patient when she was at Boston Children’s. That’s verifiable and identifiable. Hidden, you know, holidays and things where everybody else could see their families and talk to them, she was never allowed to see or talk to them, on Easter, Mother’s Day, you name it, you know. So tell me that they haven’t had their own agenda for Justina from the get-go.
GLENN: Lou, people are probably going to start listening to this for the first time. This will start to hit people in a different way. And I know my wife said this, I know Pat’s wife said this. I don’t know if Stu’s wife said this. But when we went home and we said this to our wives for the first time, each of our wives said, that can’t be. There’s got to be something.
PAT: This is America.
GLENN: This is America. There’s got to be something we don’t know. Could you just address that, for anybody who is hearing this for the first time that say “There’s got to be something about the family, there’s got to be something here that’s not being told”?
LOU: The bottom line is, you look at two key components of this situation. Number one is a doctor who diagnosed her, Dr. Korson from Tufts Medical Center. He’s the one that officially diagnosed, you know, Jessica, Justina’s older sister, with a medical — a biopsy to prove that she has mitochondrial disease. So Dr. Korson, who’s been treating her successfully for almost two years, has not been allowed to have any involvement in her care. Number two, the doctor she came to see who transferred from Tufts to Boston Children’s just a month earlier who Dr. Korson wanted her to see because he was involved with her whole stomach scenario, her GI system, was involved with putting in the cecostomy tube which really saved her life because she wasn’t able to go to the bathroom, he has been blocked. I mean, when Justina was taken over by Mass DCF roughly on February 14th, about a week later Dr. Flores tried to go see her. My wife was in the room, my other daughter. We were downstairs and visiting. Dr. Flores came into the room, gave my daughter a big hug, gave my wife a big hug. In the blink of an eye, a social worker came into the room, literally grabbed Dr. Flores by collar and dragged him out saying, “You’re not allowed to see this patient. You cannot be in here.”
PAT: How can a social worker stop a –
LOU: A social worker.
PAT: — physician from seeing a patient? That’s inconceivable. That’s amazing.
LOU: It’s all verifiable.
LOU: This is the world we’ve been fighting. This is world we’ve been dealing with. It’s like at times you wonder, is the whole world crazy and we’re the only sane ones? Or maybe we’re the crazy ones. It’s — you get to a point where left and right just don’t — nothing seems to add up anymore. You know, in the last piece — and I have to repeat this — is regarding this gag order. The largest newspaper in Massachusetts came to us back in April because there was many other people this had happened to. We were going to be the final piece to this story, and everybody knew that this newspaper was going to be printing a story. DCF, the legal system, the judges. But no gag order. It wasn’t until the local Fox Connecticut station aired the story on November 17th seven months after the Globe announced they were going to publish the story that a gag order came out. So why was there no gag for seven months when the largest newspaper in Massachusetts was going to print something but then Fox Connecticut was going to air something and all hell breaks loose. Those are the things that just make you shake your head, among so many other things.
GLENN: Lou, thank you so much. We’ll talk again.
LOU: Glenn, God bless. God bless America.
GLENN: All right. Thank you. Bye-bye.
Learn more about how you can help the Pelletier family HERE.