A young couple from Sacramento who sought a second medical opinion concerning the health of their baby boy have had the child taken from them by police after the first hospital complained that the parents were putting the infant's life in danger.
Anna Nikolayev and her husband Alex had been bringing their five-month-old son Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital since birth to monitor his heart murmur.
Which is why they didn't think twice about having a Sutter doctor examine the flu-like symptoms he began exhibiting two weeks ago.
But Anna soon became unhappy with the treatment Sammy was receiving, particularly after witnessing a nurse administering unknown antibiotics.
"I asked her, ‘For what is that?’ And she’s like ‘I don’t know,'" Anna recalled. "And then I said ‘You’re working as a nurse and you don’t he know what you’re giving my baby?"
A doctor at the hospital would later tell Anna that antibiotics should not have been used on Sammy.
After a few days at the hospital, Anna began to hear the words "heart surgery" being floated by doctors and became nervous.
"If we got the one mistake after another, I don't want to have my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don't feel safe," she told News10.
Doctors argued against the need for a second opinion, but Anna insisted.
Eventually, she felt she was left with no choice but to take Sammy and leave the hospital without a formal discharge.
At Kaiser Permanente, a rival hospital, Anna had her first encounter with police, but that ended without incident after the officers concluded that the baby was not in danger.
"They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad stuff that they thought that this baby is dying on our arms," Anna said.
Sammy's doctor at Kaiser Permanente confirmed that the child was "clinically safe to go home with his parents," and noted that he had no concern for the boy's safety.
But a second confrontation with police the following day, this time accompanied by Child Protective Services agents, did not end as smoothly.
"I was pushed against the building, smacked down. I said, 'am I being placed under arrest?,'" Alex described his interaction with the cops. "He smacked me down onto the ground, yelled out, 'I think I got the keys to the house.'"
After entering the home, an officer proceeded to grab Sammy from Anna before turning around and walking out.
Neither the police, nor CPS, nor the hospital would speak on record with local media outlets about the case, which is scheduled to be brought before a judge today.
Sammy, meanwhile, is in protective custody at Sutter Memorial Hospital, where Anna and Alex were allowed to see him for one hour last Thursday.
"We went from one hospital to another," Anna told KXTV. "We just wanted to be safe, that he is in good hands."
[photo via Facebook, video via USA Today]