10 Year Old Forced Into Experimental Chemotherapy and Recovering with Natural Treatment*
Early in October 2013, the entire nation heard about how Sarah Hershberger, a 10-year old Ohio Amish girl with leukemia (now recovered), was being forced into a two-year unproven experimental chemotherapy study by Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH). Parents reported this week the child is fully recovered through natural treatments.
It was just learned the parents, Andy and Anna Hershberger, took their significantly recovered daughter out of the United States before the court ruled that a hospital-affiliated, attorney-nurse, Maria Schimer, was made the medical guardian to make sure Sarah will get her treatments.
Schimer is General Counsel (chief legal advisor) for Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), a close affiliate and business partner of the hospital. According to Andy, Ms. Schimer has never met Sarah or him and his wife and they were never told their child was being used in a research study–among other things.
Although they do not know it yet, the hospital now has a big problem they must deal with. Sarah is completely recovered, as of October 23, according to Andy. The hospital told them and the news media that Sarah would die in a few months without the treatment they recommend. Three doctors that have treated her with a natural, biochemical protocol using nutrition, supplements and plant extracts have declared Sarah cancer free based on cat scans and blood tests–confirmed three times.
Of the 100s of stories and broadcasts, the local and national media failed to investigate the story behind the story–the side of parents Andy and Anna Hershberger and the grandfather, Isaac Keim, a bishop in the Amish church. Andy told us “after the news media took only a part of my statements and twisted them, I wasn’t going to talk anymore.” He and his family were happy and thankful that the Journal took the time to hear their side–never told before.
The Hershberger family says they never were told the chemotherapy was part of a research project using experimental chemicals. They also said the hospital did not get their signature for the second phase of different chemicals and only Sarah was asked to “put her name on the line.” They claim they were not told of the serious side effects. They said Sarah’s confidential medical information was given to the news media violating federal privacy laws. After a significant improvement in killing the cancer, they saw that the chemo was starting to kill Sarah and decided to stop the treatment and employ a better option to stop the cancer altogether. This is when the hospital took legal action to keep Sarah in the treatment study.
During the four-month ordeal, besides the anguish and financial losses Andy suffered a serious traumatic stress condition disabling him for three weeks. Family and friends helped with the kids and the vegetable harvest and sales at their produce stand and the nearby auction. Now the Hershbergers want to return to the United States, come home to their six other children in Medina County Ohio and put their lives back together after what they describe as gross mistreatment by the hospital.