Lorina Troy, 2022 FJRC Child Advocacy Award Recipient
Lorina Troy is the recipient of the Family Justice Resource Center's 2022 Child Advocacy Award, in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month. She was nominated for this award for her nationwide efforts advocating for children and families who have been the victims of medical misdiagnosis and wrongful allegations of child abuse or neglect. Read her story below.
In 2015, when Lorina was pregnant with her son JJ, an ultrasound technician told her the baby’s head was measuring at 2 weeks larger than normal. After he was born, his head still measured above average, and continued to do so in the following months. He had excessive vomiting, and his pediatrician, urgent care physician, and an ER doctor at a children’s hospital all misdiagnosed him with a stomach virus.
When JJ was five months old, his pediatrician suggested that he have an MRI because she noticed his head was still measuring larger than normal. After the MRI, Lorina and her husband were told that a child abuse pediatrician, Dr. Kelly Liker, saw fluid in their son’s MRI and believed he was a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Based solely on the opinion of this child abuse pediatrician, the children’s hospital reported the Troys for abuse and both of their children were taken away. The state refused to place the children with family members; instead, they bounced from foster home to foster home. Their 5-month-old son cried all day in foster care and their 4-year-old son lost 20 pounds within the span of six weeks.
Lorina’s husband was wrongfully charged with two felonies and lost both his government and military security clearance along with his job. The couple sold their house to pay for mounting legal fees.
Finally, the children were returned to Lorina after five months, and the family court case was dismissed after a year. It took another two and a half years for her husband's criminal court case to be dismissed.
In the end, it was determined that JJ had a birth injury and a medical condition called Benign External Hydrocephalus, which occurs when spinal fluid builds up outside of the brain and causes swelling.
Lorina has since joined forces with other falsely accused families in Texas and across the U.S. to lobby lawmakers and raise awareness about the prevalence and devastating impact of the misdiagnosis of abuse. In 2021, her collaboration with legislators and testimony at the Texas Capitol played a key role in passing legislation that allows Texas parents to obtain a second opinion before their children are wrongfully removed from their care.
She also conducts meetings with lawmakers nationwide to raise awareness about the prevalence of medically-based wrongful allegations. Her goal is to help pass federal legislation that would allow all U.S. parents a second opinion, because in 2015 she was denied a second opinion when her son was misdiagnosed.
When asked about her experience, Lorina says, “Despite the extreme challenges of our circumstances, we had to stay strong and not give up. Now, we can take our terrible situation and what we have learned and help others in similar situations. I hope that someday there can be a federal law that will allow parents a second opinion before a traumatic and wrongful removal. I hope and pray for changes."