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My son killed himself after circumcision

‘My son killed himself after circumcision’
By Caroline Lowbridge
BBC News
17 April 2019

Alex Hardy sent his mum Lesley Roberts an email explaining his decision

“It quickly became apparent that what had just happened was a catastrophe… I died in 2015, not now.”

Lesley Roberts was stunned as she read the devastating final email from her beloved son Alex Hardy.

The email had been timed to arrive on 25 November 2017, 12 hours after he killed himself. Less than an hour before the email arrived, Lesley had opened her front door to find a police officer standing there, explaining her son was dead.

Alex was an intelligent and popular 23-year-old with no history of mental illness. Lesley could not understand why he would have wanted to take his own life.

His email explained how the foreskin of his penis had been surgically removed two years before. This is commonly known as circumcision, but Alex had come to believe it should be regarded as “male genital mutilation”.

He never mentioned this to his family or friends when he was alive. Lesley did not even know her son had been circumcised.

In the following months, she tried to find out more about circumcision. Why had it affected Alex so badly, and why did he feel killing himself was his only option?

alex hardy circumcision suicide

Lesley says her “dreams came true” when she became a mother in July 1994

Lesley says her “dreams came true” when she became a mother in July 1994

Alex was the eldest of Lesley’s three sons and had been very much longed for, having been conceived after fertility treatment.

Lesley says her “dreams came true” when she became a mother in July 1994.

“He was everything I could have wished for,” she says. “Gorgeous, easygoing, and adoring of his younger brother Thomas who arrived following more treatment almost three years later.”

He also adored his baby brother James, who was born when Alex was 13. The walls and windowsills of Lesley’s home in Cheshire are covered in photos of all of them.

Alex sailed through his education and was particularly gifted at English, so much so that his old school established the Alex Hardy Creative Writing Award in his memory.

“Alex was passionate about history but as his English teacher I saw in him a true talent for writing,” says Jason Lowe, who is now head teacher at Tarporley High School.

circumcision suicide

Alex was intelligent and sailed through school

It was while on a school skiing trip to Canada, aged 14, that Alex fell in love with the country. He had enjoyed skiing as a child and the trip reignited his passion. So, when Alex reached 18, he decided to defer university and live in Canada for a year.

“He fell in love completely with Canada and made so many friends and got a promotion at work,” says Lesley.

“After one year he rang me and said ‘Mum, I’m deferring my place for university’. The same thing happened after year two.”

Two years turned into three, then four, and by the time of his death Alex had been living in Canada for five years and had obtained residency.

“He was known as the ‘super-smart Brit’ with impeccable manners,” says his mother. “The super-intelligent guy from the UK who helped people with their Canadian residency applications.”

Circumcision suicide

Alex was a keen skier and snowboarder, but he found physical activity painful after being circumcised

Lesley visited her son several times, both alone and with his brothers and stepfather. They were a close family, but Alex did not tell any of them he was secretly suffering with a problem with his penis.

“I had issues with a tight foreskin,” he eventually wrote in his final email, “but from my late teens it created issues in the bedroom as it meant my foreskin would not retract over the glans as intended which caused some awkward moments.”

In 2015, still silently suffering, Alex consulted a doctor in Canada. He was given steroid cream to stretch his foreskin, but went back to the doctor after just a few weeks because he did not think the treatment was working.

The medical name for Alex’s problem is phimosis. It simply means his foreskin was too tight to pull back from the head of his penis, or the “glans” as Alex referred to it in his email. This is perfectly normal for boys in the early years of their life. As boys get older, their foreskin usually starts to separate from the head of the penis.

mother's circumcision regret suicide

Lesley says Alex was “intuitive, empathetic, gentle, kind, witty, quirky, unassuming and caring”

Phimosis does not always cause problems, but if it does, problems can include difficulty urinating and pain during sex. In England, the NHS advises topical steroids and stretching techniques – and circumcision as a last resort.

Over in Canada, where circumcision is more common, Alex was referred to a urologist.

“He immediately suggested circumcision,” Alex wrote. “I asked about stretching and he completely lied to my face and said it would not work for me.

“I was mostly trusting as I felt he was the expert who knew best in this regard so with a pinch of salt I accepted it.”

Lesley has since read online reviews of this urologist which have made her question his competence. One patient said she had been unable to work since having surgery for kidney problems, and he had “destroyed” her quality of life.

“I’m a mother of three young children who are scared every day I will die as they see me suffering in so much pain,” she wrote.

“I can see how he misdiagnosed others, botched surgeries, and ruined lives,” said another review. “He’s dangerously incompetent.”

Another review of Alex’s urologist read: “They left a surgical instrument in my bladder but I only got notified three months later. Run away before you get hurt!”

 

circumcision suicide

Lesley says she misses Alex’s “big sparkly eyes, his grin, his sense of humor, and his bear hugs”

Lesley, who was “horrified” by these reviews, has asked for the urologist to be investigated. She has been told an inquiry is ongoing.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia told the BBC it “cannot disclose the existence of a complaint against a physician, and only may do so if the complaint leads to formal discipline”.

“I will wish with my last breath and with all of heart that my darling son had run away,” says Lesley.

Much to his regret, Alex was not able to research the urologist – or circumcision – properly at the time because his laptop was broken.

He had tried researching the topic in a public computer space but felt uncomfortable, and also felt it was “too much of a taboo” to discuss with friends.

So Alex booked what he believed was a minor procedure and had the surgery in 2015, at the age of 21.

 

circumcision suicide

Alex “adored” his little brother

In the email to his mother, Alex explained, in great detail, the physical problems he had suffered afterwards.

 

He described experiencing constant stimulation from the head of his penis, which was no longer protected by his foreskin.

“These ever-present stimulated sensations from clothing friction are torture within themselves; they have not subsided/normalized from years of exposure,” he wrote.

“Imagine what would happen to an eyeball if the eyelid was amputated?”

“He was in so much pain that it hurt to do normal physical activity,” says Lesley. “He was a keen skier and snowboarder so you can imagine the pain he was in.”

 


The foreskin protects the head of the penis, known as the glans

Consultant urological surgeon Trevor Dorkin, who is a member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, advises his patients that the head of their penis will be more sensitive after circumcision.

However, this sensitivity usually reduces.

“I always say to guys ‘it’s going to feel more sensitive to start with’ because all of a sudden you haven’t got this protection over the head of the penis and it will feel different,” says Mr Dorkin, who has carried out more than 1,000 circumcisions.

“But in the vast majority of the cases the man adjusts to that, the brain adjusts to that, it adjusts to the signals that are coming back through the nerves from the head of the penis.”

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Alex also wrote about experiencing erectile dysfunction, and burning and itching sensations, particularly from a scar which sat where his frenulum was removed. The frenulum is a band of tissue where the foreskin attaches to the under surface of the penis. Some men refer to it as their “banjo string”.

“It’s one of the more erogenous zones so it’s thought to be important in sexual function,” says Mr Dorkin.

“The foreskin, the head of the penis and the frenulum is a very, very sensitive area.

“But again when you do circumcision sometimes the frenulum is not preserved and it doesn’t necessarily have an effect on overall sexual function and enjoyment.”

A growing movement regards male circumcision as male genital mutilation

But Alex felt his frenulum had been important.

“Through its absence I can certainly verify it is the most erogenously sensitive area of the penis and male body overall,” he wrote.

“If someone were to amputate your clitoris you may begin to be able to understand how this feels.”

He wrote about experiencing cramps and contractions in his muscles and “uncomfortable” sensations which extended deep into his abdomen.

Lesley does not know whether or not Alex had sex after his circumcision.

“Where I once had a sexual organ I have now been left with a numb, botched stick,” he wrote. “My sexuality has been left in tatters.”

He asked: “Nature knows best – how can chopping off a section of healthy tissue improve nature’s evolved design?”

Lesley did not know her son had been circumcised until he died

Like many people, Lesley admits she knew very little about the foreskin or circumcision before her son died.

“I didn’t know anything apart from I believed it was a very routine surgery,” she says.

The foreskin is sometimes dismissed as a “useless flap of skin”, but Mr Dorkin says it does have a purpose.

“It covers the head of the penis,” he says. “In terms of what’s it for, it provides a bit of protection to the head of the penis. It’s thought to have some sort of immunological function perhaps.”

Circumcision rates vary a lot depending on where you are in the world and which culture you grew up in.

According to the World Health Organization, 95% of men are circumcised in Nigeria but only 8.5% of men in the UK are.

Most of the men circumcised in the UK are either Muslim or Jewish, as circumcision is regarded as an important part of their religions.

According to the 2011 census, Muslims accounted for 4.8% of the population in England and Wales, while 0.5% were Jewish.

People who question circumcision are sometimes accused of being anti-Semitic or Islamophobic, but Lesley stresses her son was neither.

“For me, this has nothing to do with religion at all. I respect all people of faith or indeed no faith, as Alex did,” she says.

In Canada, where Alex had moved to, an estimated 32% of men are circumcised.

Alex felt male circumcision has been normalised to the extent that most people do not question it, while female circumcision has become known as female genital mutilation (FGM) and is now illegal in many countries.

circumcision suicide

Alex was the eldest of Lesley’s three sons

He felt male circumcision should be known as “male genital mutilation” – a view shared by a growing anti-circumcision movement.

“If I were a female (in Western nations) this would have been illegal, the surgeon would be a criminal and this would never have been considered as an option by doctors,” Alex wrote.

“I do not believe in championing one gender over another but I feel strongly that gender equality should be achieved for all.”

Campaigners for “genital autonomy” believe it is wrong to circumcise a baby or child – whether they are male or female – because the patient cannot give consent, and these campaigners regard circumcision as a human rights issue.

 

Having lived with an intact penis for 21 years, Alex believed men circumcised as babies or young children would “tragically never be able to fully comprehend what has been taken away”. He estimated he had been stripped of 75% of the sensitivity of his penis.

However, experiences of men circumcised as adults differ dramatically.

Some men actually prefer sex afterwards because they no longer have the pain of a tight or inflamed foreskin.

Some report a significant loss in sensitivity and greatly reduced sexual pleasure.

Some report being less sensitive but say there is no change in their overall enjoyment of sex.

Some are very happy with their decision to get circumcised.

Some, like Alex, deeply regret having it done.

Alex went whale watching with his mother for his 21st birthday

Alex sought further medical help following the circumcision as well as psychological help, but never shared his problems with his family or friends.

“I was with him during those two years and I think I would be lying if I said I didn’t think something wasn’t right,” says Lesley.

“I did say ‘Is something bothering you? Are you OK?’ and he would absolutely reassure me that he was.”

Lesley, who used to be a teacher, now hopes to go into schools and speak to young men about sharing their problems, even if they are very personal.

“I think we all know that men don’t particularly tend to talk about their problems in the same way that girls do but I think circumcision is very much a taboo subject,” she says.

“Alex was reserved. He certainly wouldn’t have said ‘I’ve got a tight foreskin and it really hurts’. And he didn’t. And I didn’t know.”

Only a week after Alex died, a friend opened up to Lesley about his own circumcision.

“He told me he wouldn’t normally have mentioned it but he had a circumcision as an older man, 10 years ago, and he was in constant daily pain,” says Lesley. “It just seems it’s more common than you think.”

Consultant urological surgeon Trevor Dorkin, who is a member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, warns his patients of risks before circumcising them

Mr Dorkin says serious problems following a circumcision are rare, but not unheard of.

“You do hear of horror stories where a circumcision has been done poorly and there’s damage done to the head of the penis itself,” he says.

Sometimes too much skin is taken and this can result in what’s known as “burying” or shortening of the penis, where it gets pulled back into the body.

“Surgeons at the end of the day are human and there is potential for human error and technical error during any operation,” he says.

“One of my mentors told me every case is a tricky case, that’s got to be your approach to surgery. You never take anything for granted in surgery.”

Media captionAdult men have died from ritual circumcisions in South Africa
There have been cases of children and men dying after being circumcised.

Four-week-old Goodluck Caubergs bled to death after a nurse circumcised him at his home in Manchester, while one-month-old Angelo Ofori-Mintah bled to death after being circumcised.

Since 1995 at least 1,100 boys have died in South Africa after ritual circumcisions. Some penises fall off after becoming infected and rotten, while some have to be amputated.

In Canada, where Alex was living, newborn baby Ryan Heydari bled to death after being circumcised by a doctor in Ontario.

Recently there have been reports of two babies dying within weeks of each other after home circumcisions in Italy, and a two-year-old boy died after being circumcised at a migrant centre in Italy.

As a child Alex was “gorgeous, easygoing, and adoring of his younger brother Thomas

“I’m not qualified to say that circumcision is always bad, because it isn’t,” says Lesley.

“It certainly was in my son’s case and I think we need more research. We need to look into the risks, what can really go wrong, and we need to be more aware of them.”

If a circumcision is necessary, Mr Dorkin says it is important to tell patients about potential complications.

“Particularly when you are doing the operation in a guy who is in his late teenage years or early adulthood, it’s a very sensitive area and sexual function is important, so you have to explain the risks to them,” he says.

Alex asked his mother to share his story after he died

“Alex said he was not made aware of all the risks,” says Lesley. “If he had, I feel sure he would not have had the surgery.

“Alex wasn’t alone. I now know he wasn’t the only one that this has happened to. And that can’t be right.”

The UK charity 15 Square, which tries to educate people about circumcision, says Alex is not the only man to have killed himself after being circumcised.

“It happens more frequently than people realise,” says chairman David Smith.

There are no statistics on men who have killed themselves after being circumcised. Alex died over a year ago but his story has not been told until now. An inquest into his death was held in the UK but it was not reported by the media.

Lesley, who is normally private and reserved like her son, only agreed to share Alex’s story because it was his dying wish.

“If the following information can benefit anybody then it has served its purpose,” he wrote.

“I did not feel comfortable raising the issue when I had a choice, so if my story can raise awareness to break this taboo within society regarding men’s health then I am happy for release of my words.

“Alex said in his letter ‘We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us’,” says Lesley.

“This is the last thing I’m doing for my precious son.”

By |2019-10-20T15:30:01-04:00October 20th, 2019|Circumcision Injuries & Deaths|0 Comments

Circumcision Chronicles Uncut Podcast #19: Fighting Circumcision Around the World

Circumcision Chronicles Uncut Podcast #19: Video podcast with Anthony Losquadro of Intaction http://Intaction.org and Michael Winnel of the Foreskin Revolution http://foreskinrevolution.com . Also find the Foreskin Revolution on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/foreskinrevolution

Discussion about intactivism around the world – The Worldwide Fight Against Circumcision

The Circumcision Chronicles Uncut Podcast is also a Libsyn syndicated podcast available on iTunes/Apple, Spotify, Google Podcast, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Deezer, and all major podcast providers.

By |2019-10-21T00:34:00-04:00October 20th, 2019|Circumcision news|0 Comments

Are intact men “Bad to the Bone”? Mel Magazine discusses

IS THE SONG ‘BAD TO THE BONE’ ACTUALLY ABOUT CIRCUMCISION?

Two rock ’n’ roll historians analyze George Thorogood’s 1982 classic — and why it’s become something of a pro-foreskin anthem.

Could George Thorogood and the Destroyers’ 1982 hit “Bad to the Bone,” a classic song about being a badass to the core, actually be about the virtues of remaining uncircumcised?

According to the online “intactivist” community, the song has a hidden pro-foreskin message — and we’ve all been too cocky to realize it.

Consider the lyrics:

The nurses all gathered ’round
And they gazed in wide wonder
At the joy they had found
The head nurse spoke up
Said “leave this one alone”
She could tell right away
That I was bad to the bone

Why, pro-foreskin activists wonder, would nurses tell the doctor to “leave this one alone” other than to protect his uncut penis?

Some listeners have even listed the song in “pro-intact” playlists on YouTube — turning the track into something of a foreskin anthem.

Anti-circumcision activist Anthony Losquadro argues that Thorogood “could be writing about how women ‘in the know’ love foreskin. … This baby is going to grow up and be such a terrific lover/stud/Casanova it would be best to leave him as nature intended him to be. Altering his natural body would be a loss to women the world over.”

So what is this song actually about? Is it simply that our hero was a delinquent through and through? Or was he born with a dick so beautiful that nurses vowed to protect it at all costs?

*****

First, let’s turn to two rock ’n’ roll historians: Alan Cross, host of the podcast Ongoing History of New Music, and Chris Swain, creator of the Rock ’n’ Roll Archeology Project.

Alan Cross: It’s an interesting hypothesis, one that I’d never considered before. I’d always thought George was talking about being recognized as an irredeemably bad seed from the moment he was born.

Chris Swain: So is a circumcision to the penis the source of his “badness to his bone”? I’m certain George just loves the idea of people’s interest in the character’s anatomy — and as avatar for the writer/performer his own organ — as source of rigorous debate.

Cross: Then again, why would the head nurse order that they “leave this one alone”? Wouldn’t that be a violation of some aspect of the Hippocratic Oath? Might she instead be making another kind of judgment?

Swain: The opening stanza suggests the nurses in that particular pediatric ward are thoroughly impressed with the manhood of a special newborn, which in turn causes their supervisor to declare the organ as perfection, not requiring any change whatsoever. Who would argue with perfection?

Cross: There’s no evidence that George had this idea in mind when he wrote this. The music video features him in a heated game of pool with Bo Diddley.

Swain: Having pored over the sacred text with this new insight, I agree with the argument and can believe his “bone” is not circumcised, but would add that more importantly, it is, in fact, well-endowed. This seems to me to be the more obvious impression and central point. So I think the point of a large member was really the message he was going for more so than if he (metaphorically) was under the knife of a local mohel! [Editor’s note: If the nurse — and not the mohel — is making the call on whether or not to circumcise, perhaps the baby isn’t Jewish.]

Cross: This is the beauty of lyrical interpretations. If you can imagine the words meaning that, then they must be true — at least in some universe.

Swain: The other three stanzas appear to spend their poetry on suggesting his ability to impress all with his bone and its badness, whether they be kings, queens, rich, good or old. So if pressed, I suggest [he has] a natural penis but of perfect proportion. The organ then goes on to impress all the rest of the characters in the song. Purely speculation, but I doubt George has given it much thought.

*****

Perhaps we can glean more from the lyrics if we had more insight into Thorogood’s imagined operating room — specifically where a nurse might say the words “leave this one alone.” I ran the lyrics by Dr. Marc Leavey, retired family doctor, and Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger, Director of Urology at New York Urology Specialists.

Dr. Marc Leavey: While any nurse or other health care professional certainly can (and do) express an opinion about health or medical matters, it is up to the physician to act on the issue as he or she sees fit, based on best medical practice.

Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger: Most likely what makes sense to me is that he was born ill-looking/premature … so in this context, “bad to the bone” means “sick,” unlikely to make it. The rest of the song then is an ode to overcoming the odds, surviving and thriving. Fertility or sexual prowess is then the symbol of ‘making it’ despite the odds. I would favor this version of literary interpretation.

The other possibility is that the conversation is about circumcision. Often, boys are circumcised on day one or two after birth before discharge from the hospital. So [is there a medical] reason why someone would not be circumcised? The most common would be anatomical abnormalities such as hypospadias … a condition when the opening of the urethra is not at the tip of the penis. If hypospadias is mild, it has no significant repercussions; the boys may pee without a problem and can have children. Many older patients I see have never had it repaired.

So this may be also an ode to “victorious success” with women sexually, despite an anatomic abnormality — overcoming the odds.

Leavey: The trouble with answering [the circumcision] question is that it is a loaded one. There are religious proponents of circumcision, whose reason for doing it is that the Bible demands it. There are those who don’t do it, because their interpretation of text, or general feeling, is not to do it.

Ultimately it is up to the parents and their decision, based on religion, environment, and social pressures. There are also health issues that are debated despite any facts or studies. And there are those who just think it’s cool to look like Yul Brynner in a turtleneck sweater.

The doctors have now given us a third option: Was the character born bad, born with a perfect dick, or born premature with a mild penile abnormality?

*****

To lay this bone to rest, I reached out to Thorogood’s camp for comment. They have yet to respond, so I tracked down the man who claims (among many other things) that he actually wrote the lyrics: James Pobiega, a.k.a. “Little Howlin’ Wolf.” He calls me on Monday night, and as soon as I pick up the phone, he’s already going a mile a minute. Take what follows with a grain of salt.

Pobiega: I have a whole bunch of tunes — tons and tons of songs I made up — called “Bad to the Bone.” I told Thorogood exactly what to do to make it, and he did it.

George is gonna tell you he wrote it. He wrote it down, yeah. I don’t want any money, ’cause I didn’t play it then — I told him what to do. But it’s up to him to fess up and say, ‘Hey, look, this guy actually told me what the hell to do.’ Where I come from, you don’t do that shit [steal people’s songs]. You’d get smacked in the fuckin’ head, get your ass kicked.

He came up to me and I was playing on the Michigan Avenue bridge, where I used to meet people [and play]. He was playing air guitar, and I said, “What’s your name?” And he goes, “George.” And I go, “George what?” And he said, “Thorogood.” And I said, “Fuck that shit, man. Thorogood nothin’. You gotta be bad, man. You gotta be bad to the bone.”

I looked at him and I saw exactly that there was nothin’ there except for what I tell him. So if I tell him to do something, do a rhythm, he was going to do it. I told him about rhythms, I told him about all kind of things. And that if he followed exactly he could become very famous, and he did.

I told him the keys, the formula, you know? He just don’t get the whole idea. He just needed a moniker, and that was his moniker. You need a gimmick, kid. And that’s what he did, he used it as a gimmick.

But I don’t really know the guy [Thorogood] other than I got into it with [Chicago jazz musician] Gerald Sims and we kinda split. But I did what I needed to do.

I make blues up all the time. For example, if I was going to put something out, I’d start, “Rumble roar, fire and smoke, earth’s quake and pipe’s broke.“ You know, that kind of stuff. “Fill its blade with molten steel. Pile drive and short circuit breaks the deal.“ You understand, man? It just comes outta me.

*****

Perhaps we’ll never know the true meaning behind “Bad to the Bone.” Maybe there is no underlying message in “Bad to the Bone.” Maybe we’re all just spinning our wheels out here, searching for meaning in the sound and fury to a song that’s actually… B-b-b-b-b-bad. Just bad.

Powerful discussion about Circumcision – Cuts men deeply – Dr. Walsh Show

Anthony Losquadro – Director of Intaction, and Dr. Wendy Walsh KFI AM640 iHeart Radio Network discuss male circumcision, female genital mutilation, pain & trauma.

Also included is a discussion about a man that confronted his circumciser – obstetrician later in life.

By |2019-10-21T00:35:19-04:00August 26th, 2019|Circumcision news|0 Comments

Intaction on SiriusXM Satellite Radio Circumcision Religion FGM

Anthony Losquadro, Director of Intaction, and Karen Hunter Sirius XM Urban View discuss circumcision, masturbation, religion, and female genital mutilation.

By |2019-10-21T00:36:48-04:00August 26th, 2019|Circumcision news, Intaction Events|0 Comments

Emotional & Psychological Harm of Circumcision PTSD DEPRESSION

Psychological effects of circumcision on infants and adolescents. How circumcision damages your mental health. What parents need to look out for.

Anthony Losquadro is a expert in the area of anti-circumcision advocacy and the executive director of Intaction.

Dr. Pat Baccili is the host of the internationally acclaimed, The Dr. Pat Show – Talk Radio to Thrive By, #1 Positive Talk in Seattle several years running – the show reaches millions of people each year and is broadcast on hundreds of AM/FM/Digital networks and 165 countries with a powerful life- changing message.

Sponsored by Alpha Armor “Skin Care for Men’s Sensitive Areas.” Have Better Sex at http://AlphaArmor.men

By |2019-10-05T02:10:14-04:00June 29th, 2019|Circumcision news, Intaction Events|1 Comment

Pop singer Pink in heated debate about circumcision – We discuss

Pop star Pink fired back at mom-shaming trolls on Sunday who criticized her for sharing a picture of her 2-year-old son without a swim diaper.

The Instagram photo featured the 39-year-old singer with her two-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter. Social media users were quick to criticize Pink for evidently having her son circumcised

Heartbreaking! Mother’s pain over the death of her son after circumcision

March 10, 2019

Originally posted to Facebook

This is the story about a baby, Emmitt Tailer Goss. He died days after his circumcision at Forsyth Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina due to infection after circumcision. This story was written by his mother, Dakota Ellis.

Intaction understands this story is very painful to the family, and we do not wish to cause them further distress. However it is critical that future parents in America have this information so that they can be aware of the risks of circumcision.  To that end we hope that this tragedy can serve a greater purpose.

 

To those that want to hear Emmitt’s full story, Here it is.

circumcision death infection Forsyth Medical Center

Baby Emmitt Goss with his parents

circumcision death Forsyth Medical Center infection Emmett Goss #circumcisionkills

Baby Emmitt is in a fight for his life

“I lost my son, I lost everything. In a moment, everything had changed.”

On Monday, February 25th, 2019 I was in labor and admitted into Forsyth Medical Center. Literally hours away from giving birth to my first child. I was in labor all day that day. On Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 at 8:22pm after 2 hours of pushing I welcomed a perfect little boy in this world. Emmitt Tailer Goss. 7lbs 10.5 oz and 21 ½ inches long. He looked just like his father. Everything was perfectly normal, except he was Meconium Stained. Other than this, everything was perfectly normal. All my tests were negative for any types of diseases and infections. Emmitt’s father’s name is also Dakota. That night, Dakota and I didn’t allow anyone to touch or hold Emmitt but us and his nurses. We were being very precautious about things. On Thursday, February 28th, 2019 he had his circumcision.

We started seeing signs that night that our little one wasn’t acting quite right. We asked nurses and everyone assured us it was normal things for newborns to be doing. His lips would turn a purplish tint when he would breastfeed. They told us some babies do this. His lips started getting a “chapped” look. They told us that this was from him sucking so hard to get colostrum and that this is normal. He wouldn’t really “cry”. He would lightly whimper. He wanted to do nothing but sleep and didn’t have an interest in eating. All of which we were reassured that this was just normal newborn activity. I am a first-time mom, I had no idea.

They decided that since both Emmitt and I were doing well, that we would be discharged around noon that same day. I was so scared. We went home, and things were about the same. They told us he was slightly jaundice to follow up on Friday March 1st, 2019 with a pediatrician. So, on Friday, we went. He had lost 9% of his total body weight. They recommended us trying formula instead of breastfeeding to get his weight up and give me time to get my milk supply up.

They scheduled us to come back on Monday March 4th, 2019 for a weight check to be on the safe side. So, we go home, and throughout the next two days things started to appear worse in Emmitt. But we had our mind set on “The nurses and Doctors are saying he’s normal”. Sunday night, I was feeding him a bottle and he stopped breathing. It scared me to death. I thought maybe I had him laying too far back and maybe he got strangled on formula. So, I turned him over and patted his back until he gasped and started breathing within a second or two. This was my biggest scare so far. I handed him over to Dakota and he laid him on his chest and rubbed his back until he went to sleep. We barely slept that night and went on to the pediatrician the next morning.

We went to the pediatrician the next morning, and she sent us straight to Brenner’s Children’s Hospital in Winston Salem. We were in a room in the Emergency Department within 5-10 minutes of being there. The nurses came in and hooked him up to all of these different machines. Within 2 minutes of being hooked up to all of these machines, he desat and his oxygen dropped to 65 and he couldn’t self-recover. They begged him to get him back to being stable. They hooked him up to oxygen as well at this point. He had several other desalts throughout the night. They started running tests and within an hour, multiple doctors came into the room and explained to us that our son was sick and by his bloodwork he was fighting some sort of infection. They explained they didn’t know what it was yet, but they were working on figuring that out and was already treating him with several antibiotics.

We sat most of the night worrying what would happen to our son. A few hours later the doctor came back in and said that his liver enzymes were over 3,000 and needed to be between a 40 and a 60. This showed that the infection had spread to most of his body, skin, blood, and other organs, but in order to see if it had spread to his brain, they would need to do a spinal tap. This would tell us more. So, they did that, and we waited for the results. After waiting, they had come back in to let me know that it has spread into his brain. At this point, they would do everything that they can. They told us we were going to be moved to the PICU and be admitted for at least two weeks at this point possibly longer once they knew what we were working with. They were scared because he was 6 days old. His immune system wasn’t developed yet. Once in PICU they put in an umbilical line to be able to give him his treatment because every IV they tried on him, his veins would blow.

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Desperate measures to save baby Emmitt after circumcision

Later on, we laid down in his room and fell asleep for about 2 hours. The infectious disease doctor came in and I woke up. I woke up Dakota and we spoke to the doctor. He proceeded to tell us that our son has HSV 1 (Herpes Simplex Virus). He could’ve caught this from anywhere. Now the disease is so bad that you can catch it from a touch, you don’t have to kiss the baby for them to get it. That’s scary. You try to protect your baby from everything they can yet can’t. He proceeded to let us know that the survival rate is very low. Emmitt has been diagnosed with Disseminating HSV 1. Which means it is throughout his body and brain, the worst type you can get.

At this point, we are overwhelmed. Exactly one week ago, I brought this child into this world. Now I’m being told he may die. They told us to go home and get some things because we weren’t going anywhere. While we were at home packing, I got a phone call that they were moving him down to NICU so they could better care for our baby. We hurried and got back to the hospital. Our child looked so pitiful. It was hard to watch. Every time he desat, he looked normal. He didn’t cry, he just laid there. It made me think to myself, how many times was he in distress the 3 days he was home with us and we didn’t even know it? All the symptoms seemed normal. Each one of them. He was in NICU for several days, the first days he was pretty bad off.

Then on Thursday March 7th, 2019 I woke up and called to check on him and they told us all of his levels that had shot up in the previous days had gotten significantly better. His AST Level is what shows how the infection is affecting all of his organs as a whole. This level should be between 50-100. 100 being very high. This level was at a 4,000 on his worst day and had dropped to 2,500 overnight. His ALT Level is what shows us how the infection is affecting his liver in itself. This level was around 1,000 in the beginning. It dropped around 800 at one point and bloodwork showed on this day it was in the 600’s. These levels were showing major improvement from where we were. Then, his platelet count. This is something we were worried about because this is his clotting factors. This is what can make him potentially bleed out if not treated properly. This level needs to be around 150,000. It was around 47,000 on his worst day so far and it had raised to 107,000 overnight. It was a relief knowing these levels were doing something. God was working in the background.

The next day, he had yet another good day. His levels hadn’t changed much, and nurses were surprised at his counts. It seemed to us that our baby was fighting this. The nurse practitioner had explained they had tried to do a Picline and failed. That they would need to eventually surgically place a Broviac Central Line. We were fully okay with this even though our baby would need to be put to sleep and intubated for this procedure. They didn’t have time on Friday to do the surgery. So, the surgeon called me around 11:00pm on Friday to inform me that she would be doing the operation on Saturday morning sometime.

We woke up on Saturday March 9th, 2019 and went over to the hospital and waited until the surgery was completed. We saw our baby laying there, not fully awake yet. He opened his eyes a few times, but you could tell he was still out of it. The nurse informed us they wanted him to rest so he wouldn’t have to fight so hard to fight off this infection. We agreed so we told the nurse we had family coming to visit that we were going to step out for a few hours and would be back to stay most of the night with him, like we always did. She said that was fine.

Two hours later I received a phone call that things were not good and that my baby was very sick, and his blood pressure was scarcely low, and they had tried the highest dose of medication they could give, and it wasn’t working. They had said both his umbilical line and his scalp IV had come out, and they only had the Central Line and it wasn’t giving them enough access to be able to get him all the things he needed. His treatment, blood pressure medicines, and blood products to help his blood pressure. They were saying they needed to do emergency surgery to place a different type of Central Line to be able to get him what he needed since they couldn’t get any IV’s in him due to his veins constantly blowing each time.

So, they told us to spend a few moments with Emmitt before the surgery started. So that we did. I held his hand and I told him everything was going to be okay. We waited in the waiting room for a little bit. Then the nurse came and told us to come to a private room. Our family waited in the waiting room. The nurse told us that things were looking worse for Emmitt and they didn’t think he would pull through the surgery because his heart rate kept dropping and without chest compressions, he did not have a heartbeat. She said they were going to keep trying. I told her to do everything she could. She promised me she would. About 10 minutes later she came back and said that she wanted us to go to Emmitt. She made the comment, “I would rather his last memory be you holding him rather than one of my doctors pressing on his chest.” So, we went to him. We stood there for the longest time and then he stopped breathing, so she wrapped him up and gave him to Dakota. Dakota held him and just cried. He was our son. Our everything. We had just lost him.

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Family saying goodbye

Dakota then let me hold him and Dakota held me in his lap. We just balled like babies. We didn’t understand why. We sat there forever it felt like, then we said we needed to go tell our family. The nurses put them all in the room we were previously in. We sat Emmitt down and went into the room to let them know we had lost him. Tears filled the room. I asked if they would like to see him. Everyone did. So, we went back, and Dakota and I cleaned all the blood off of his lifeless body. It killed me as Dakota swaddled our baby to take him to our family. The nurse brought us a light baby blue hand crocheted hat to place on his head. I walked down the hall with tears in my eyes. I opened the door, with my baby in my arms and once again everyone lost it. We let everyone hold him for the last time. It was truly the hardest thing I had done so far.

It’s sad, I am 20 and my fiancé is 22. We gave birth to this perfect human less than 2 weeks ago. We didn’t have but 3 days with him outside of the hospital before he went to heaven. It truly broke our heart. We made our siblings Aunts and Uncles for the first time, we made our parents Grandparents for the first time, and for this to happen. This happened just yesterday, and it keeps getting harder and harder on us. I know days to come will be harder as well. Monday, March 11th, 2019 was his due date. That is tomorrow. Like I said, each day will be harder for a while. On his due date, we have the biggest day. We have to go pick up a birth certificate for Emmitt and go to the funeral home to make arrangements. I lost my son, I lost everything. In a moment, everything had changed.

circumcision death

Emmitt’s memento’s of a future that was not to be

By |2019-10-20T12:29:49-04:00March 10th, 2019|Circumcision Injuries & Deaths|2 Comments

Circumcision called a CON-JOB and SACRED COW on BizTalkRadio

On BizTalkRadio, a nationally syndicated radio show hosted by Frankie Boyer, Anthony Losquadro has a wide ranging discussion about the function of the foreskin and controversy surrounding circumcision. Why are Americans obsessed with circumcision? Topics include religion, the 4 Powers of Foreskin, and the Netflix documentary American Circumcision controversy.

By |2019-10-05T05:10:34-04:00February 26th, 2019|Intaction Events|0 Comments

The Four Powers of Foreskin & Netflix American Circumcision documentary

Engaging discussion on how foreskin removal results in pain and trauma to American baby boys. Topics include Netflix American Circumcision documentary, female genital mutilation, and the 4 Powers of Foreskin. With Kate Delany, America Tonight and Anthony Losquadro Director, Intaction.org. Originally broadcast on 220 radio stations across America to over 1 million listeners.

By |2019-10-05T05:16:21-04:00February 22nd, 2019|Circumcision news, Intaction Events|0 Comments