TULSA, Okla. - Kyle Solorzano, 2, and his 3-year-old brother, Andrew, love kicking a soccer ball, playing with toy cars and getting dirty. You wouldn’t know by looking at them what they’re going through.
“It’s really hard to talk about half the time because I end up crying,” said Chelsea Solorzano, the boys’ mother.
When Kyle was 4 months old, he started screaming in pain. His parents took him to the emergency room and were shocked to find out that he had a broken arm. Hospital staff began questioning the parents.
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“They started asking me, ‘What did you do? How did this happen? I want to know.’ He was really hateful,” Solorzano said.
DHS officials showed up at their doorstep the next day with the sheriff and a deputy.
“They automatically assumed abuse, right on the medical records. Multiple fractures, there’s no “if” or anything. (They said it was) abuse,” Solorzano said.
She and her family faced more questioning from DHS while an ambulance took Kyle to a Tulsa hospital. DHS put his brother into a Broken Arrow foster home.
“My husband and I both told my lawyer we didn’t do this. We wouldn’t abuse our children. He said, ‘Well, there’s got to be something wrong for him to just break like this,’” Solorzano said.
That was exactly the case. Kyle was tested for a rare disease called osteogenesis imperfecta, which causes brittle bones.
Seven weeks after DHS pulled the boys from their home, the case was dismissed.
It is not uncommon for doctors to suspect abuse when a child has unexplained broken bones. The Osteogenesis Imperfect Foundation has a page dedicated to helping parents fight false accusations.
DHS Child Welfare Services Director Kelli Heath said that because the agency has access to doctors who specialize in child abuse, they are often able to make a more accurate diagnosis.
“Parents don’t need to be afraid of DHS in that situation, but we all have to rely on medical professionals in those situations to accurately diagnose,” Heath said.
KOKI asked officials how they investigate before taking children from homes, but they wouldn’t talk about the case.
Solorzano now lives in fear that the next break will bring DHS to her door again. This time she has a plan.
“I carry a huge binder with me that has all of his records in it. I also call my trusted doctor and she calls the ER before I go,” Solorzano said.
Kyle now faces a long medical fight. He had a five-hour surgery to put a rod in his right leg. A few hours after KOKI’s Michelle Linn left their home, Kyle broke his left leg.
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