I happened upon this story, as I tend to do when I trawl the ‘net for other things. I shared a link with Trench, who then offered me a CNN news link. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only “legit” news link I have come across, which is very sad. We have had to rely on all the sites that Quinten’s sister have published on to get more information. There are photos of the living conditions that the boys were forced to endure, plus photos of Quinten and his brother Cameron.
This story is about a sister, Valerie Wood-Harber, who was brave enough to blow the whistle on the poor living conditions to which her bio breeder Michael Wood had subjected her younger brothers Cameron and Quinten. She alleges that all the housework and care of Quinten was foisted upon young Cameron. You see, Quinten has a ring chromosome disorder which caused him to be unable to care for himself, use the toilet, feed himself, walk or talk. Instead of Mr. Wood caring for his son like he should have done, it is alleged that he just gave up and allowed Quinten to become gravely ill without seeking medical help for him. It is on a grubby, pee stained couch that Quinten died at the age of 15 years, holding the hand of his best friend and brother Cameron.
When Cameron told Valerie of the poor living conditions, as well as physical and emotional abuse that their own father was subjecting them to, she made a difficult yet sensible decision – she called Child Welfare Services and sang like a canary. They promised her that they would do a home study and that everything would be okay. Three weeks passed, and nothing was done. Valerie tried her damnedest to clean the trailer up and buy food for the boys. It was all in vain. The trailer would be exactly the same way when she returned the next time. The fridge would be empty again. Cameron told her that if it weren’t for her buying groceries, they would probably starve.
Valerie had taken the boys in after a mere three days of discovering that they existed, when their father took off to work overseas. She looked after them for 4 years, right up until Quinten started having issues with living with a “stranger” and Cameron needing his dad. Valerie did not have the time nor the resources to get the boys the help they needed, so with a heavy heart, she sent them back to their dad. She couldn’t have known that this decision would have cost Quinten his life. She had begged her father to let her take the boys until he got back on his feet, but he allegedly threatened her with never seeing the boys again if she implied that he was anything less than a good father to them. He would also have her charged with kidnapping, and because she lived in the next state, it would have been a felony.
Michael Wood is currently free from prosecution, as there had been NO investigation made by social services. Quinten’s death was officially caused by pneumonia, which the coroner blamed on his ring chromosome condition. Quinten was scrawny and malnourished, but again that was blamed on his condition.
Valerie is working around the clock to see her father brought to justice and to see Oklahoma Social Services investigated for their role in Quinten’s death.
I took offence to the poor reporting skills of the journo who wrote the CNN article. It barely touched on the accusations of child abuse made by Valerie and basically made it out to be a sob story. However, it does provide more opportunities to feel contempt for Michael Wood. According to the article, Wood claimed that Quentin suffered from recurrent ear infections which antibiotics could not clear. Valerie states that Quentin never became sick when in her care. He also claimed that he went to DHS for help with Quentin (um, your daughter offered to take the boys and you nearly bit her head off with threats of kidnapping charges). DHS declined to comment on whether there was any record of Wood visiting DHS. He even went as far as to blame his imaginary friend God for Quinten’s death. No sir. You kept them in a hovel, you didn’t buy any food and you rejected your daughter’s pleas to take better care of the boys. This is squarely on you.
It is so sad that there wasn’t much more on news sites and that I had to rely on unofficial new sights. Valerie is trying hard to get her brother’s story told, and I hope by putting it on BB, that it will help.
RIP Quinten Douglas Wood.