KUSA – The mother of conjoined twins separated at Children's Hospital Colorado in August has had her visiting hours reinstated after she was banned from visiting her surviving daughter in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for three days.
Mother Amber McCullough's attorney James Avery confirmed to 9NEWS on Tuesday afternoon that she had her four-hour visitation reinstated. She was asked "not to record any further conversations" and cannot visit her daughter Sunday through Tuesday.
On Facebook, McCullough posted numerous times that she recorded conversations to prove she wasn't being disruptive. She's since taken her Facebook page down.
Avery said the hospital created a behavioral agreement for his client after hospital staff claimed she was disruptive. She was limited to two-hour visits per day with her newborn in mid-December.
McCullough delivered the girls by cesarean section on Aug. 26. Savannah, called Hannah, and Olivia shared an abdomen, liver and intestinal tract but had separate hearts and kidneys. As expected, following a 5-hour separation procedure,Olivia did not survive long after birth.
Avery said he received an email from the Children's Hospital Colorado attorney on Saturday outlining violations in the behavioral agreement. McCullough denies the claims. The email said in part, "She was disruptive to staff and interfering with their ability to take care of other patients. The situation has become untenable and unworkable."
Children's Hospital Colorado cannot release specific information on patients but did release a statement in December to 9NEWS that in part explained what it could do if a behavioral agreement is violated.
"There are times Behavioral Agreements are created to provide structure and support to families and treatment teams to foster healthy, cohesive teamwork during times of crisis and stress. In rare instances, where a parent and/or legal guardian's actions deliberately violate an agreed-upon Behavioral Agreement and compromise the healthcare teams' ability to provide care for the patients of Children's Hospital Colorado, the hospital places the patients' well-being and safety first, and will take measures to ensure that well-being and safety remains the focal point. Repeated violations can lead to restricted visitation."
"It's a really unbelievable situation," Avery said.
McCullough intends on transferring her daughter Hannah to Boston Children's Hospital. She is in the process of getting Medicaid approval which could take a few more weeks.
Childrens' Hospital issued an additional statement this afternoon.
"Children's Hospital Colorado greatly values our patients' parents and/or legal guardians and sees them as partners in their child's care, which is why we are committed to providing family-centered care. We value their input, perspective and see it as vital to delivering the best outcomes for our patients. However, if a parent is disruptive to our nurses and care providers or interrupts direct patient care, their actions can jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of their own child, as well as the care of the other medically-fragile patients in the unit. This is not acceptable, and we will take action."
The hospital said visitation restrictions are rare, only occurring to approximately 0.00005% of patients in 2015, a percentage that equals out to about 1 in 20,000.
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