This is the most heartbreaking story I’ve ever written about. It’s a story that shows the love of siblings for each other in spite of having the same abusive father. Their journey, what happened along the way, and the outcome are all unforgettable. This is worth the entire read – trust me.
This is in her words.
9 years ago, I met my biological father, and I found out that I had little brothers. 3 days after meeting them, our father asked if they could come live with me, while he worked overseas. This was our first night together, they were 6 and 7 years old at the time. I was 19. Because of the fact that I only met them 3 days before I became responsible for them- the love I have for them is less like a sister, and more like a parent. This is Quinten. He was 7 when he came to live with me. Quinten was born with a very rare chromosomal abnormality (Ring 9 Chromosome) that rendered him unable to walk, talk, or care for himself.
He was the happiest little guy, though. He would laugh and giggle at anything. He loved music, and water, to be held and snuggled, and twirled around. He liked to be treated like a BOY, not like a fragile baby- and he WASN’T sick, or fragile- there were just some common sense things that we had to pay attention to. He never, EVER cried, unless he was faking it to get more snacks. :)
Anywhere Quinten went, Cameron went too. Despite being the younger brother, Cameron was Quinten’s bodyguard. He fought for him, he told him his secrets, he snuggled him when he wasn’t feeling well. When he was in first grade, I actually had to home school him, because he couldn’t function in public school- he was too worried about where Quinten was, and if he was ok.
This is Quinten on his birthday- I’d given him white cake, trying to avoid a mess- but he decided he wanted chocolate! So he reached across the table, pulled the cake to him, and dug in! That’s how Quinten was around food- you’d think it would be out of reach, but then he’d have it in his mouth as soon as you turned around.
After almost 4 years of caring for them, I reached a point where I could no longer, emotionally or financially do it anymore. Our father was sending money, but I still had to work. Finding affordable daycare for the two of them was next to impossible, and Cameron was reaching the age where he needed his Daddy. So I asked our father to return to the States and get them. This is me telling them goodbye at the airport. Sometimes I feel like this was the last day that I was alive
After 2 years overseas with the boys, our father returned back to the states to live. I was ecstatic. They were only 4 hours away, and I would visit as often as I could. They were 12 and 13. As time passed though, I started noticing that Quinten was looking very pale, very thin…and he wasn’t happy anymore.
I tried coming to town more often- every time I came there was no food in the fridge, the house was filthy, and everyone was so…sad. I would buy groceries, and spend my entire visit cleaning- and it would be right back the way it was before the next time I came down. The boys kept on getting sick- colds that never went away, but our father never took them to the doctor.
I realized that our father had stopped taking care of the kids- Cameron, who was 14 by then, was bearing the brunt of the burden- cooking, taking care of Quinten and himself- everything from bathing, to diapering. Our father was also physically and emotionally abusing Cameron. After coming to this realization, I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, up until that point- On December 17, 2012, I turned my father in for child abuse .
A worker came out to the boys’ schools, and interviewed Cameron. He told her he was being left alone to take care of Quinten all day long, that his father was abusing him and that there was hardly any food in the house. This worker promised them, and promised me she would be going to their home to do a home study. 3 weeks I waited. 3 weeks I called Cameron’s cell to find out if she’d been by. She never showed up. Cameron told me that every day, he’d hold Quinten and say “Just be patient Bubby- Sissy is sending someone to save us.” But no one ever came.
I struggled so hard with wanting to just drive down and get them- since this social worker had obviously decided that Christmas shopping or something was more important than getting my brothers out of this hell hole- but every time I called DHS, they told me to just be patient, that someone would be out soon, and if that I took the boys, I would be charged with kidnapping. Since I live out of state, it would be considered felony kidnapping, and I’d never see the kids again- they’d go right back to our father.
Quinten got sick again right around New Year’s Eve, and once again, was not taken to the doctor. All our father did was buy some Nyquil and Vick’s vapo rub, and told Cameron to give it to him. On Janurary 3rd, Cameron called me, freaking out saying “something is different- he’s not getting better. He won’t eat, he’s crying and I can’t get him to stop.” He put the phone up to Quinten’s ear, and I told him “Bubby, I love you. You’d better get better, I’m coming to town tomorrow and I’m going to hug you and squeeze you and take you home with me. Everything is going to be ok.” Cameron said he smiled, and stopped crying when he heard my voice. Cameron and I both begged our father to take Quinten to the hospital, and he said he would that evening- he didnt. So my husband and I made plans to leave town around noon the next day, drive down and phone the police from the house, and say “Either you guys take custody of the kids, or let us take them, but get them out of here.”
I told Cameron to hold Quinten, and rock him, run his hands through his hair, that even when medicine can’t make you feel better, hugs and snuggles sometimes do. So Cameron moved his mattress into the living room, and put it next to the couch where Quinten slept- because his mattress was too pee stained. If you zoom in on the cardboard in this picture, you can see feces dried on it. There was literally human and animal waste all over the house.
On the morning of January 4th, Cameron woke up, and Quinten was dead. Cameron was holding his hand in his sleep, and he woke up to it being cold. He ran for our father, who, as always, was in his bedroom on the computer. Our father tried to perform CPR on Quinten, to no avail. When the paramedics arrived, they said he had been dead for at least 3 hours. This couch is where he died. If you zoom in on the picture, you can see discoloration on the upholstery where he had peed through- this couch was literally so soaked in urine that if you sat on it, your clothes would smell like urine, even after washing them. We found out just recently, that while they were waiting on the paramedics, our father forced Cameron to change the diaper on Quinten’s dead body- in order to cover up the fact that he was covered in his own filth.
I’m working, pretty much around the clock, to try to see justice served. Our father needs to be in jail- there is just no other way around it. I don’t care how depressed you are, it takes a special kind of monster to look the other way while their child wastes away to death. Unfortunately because NO ONE did their jobs and documented the abuse, it looks like our father could very well get away with this.
This is my first thing I’ve ever posted, I wanted to put this out here to remind everyone that if you even THINK that a child is being mistreated- SPEAK UP. Especially if they are disabled- many people think that disabled=sick and it does NOT!!! You may be the only voice that they have. Don’t worry if their parent is your friend, or your family member, that you might start drama. You could be the only thing preventing a young boy having to stand over a coffin to tell his brother goodbye for the last time.
But also, I just want people to remember him. His name was Quinten Douglas Wood, and he was the best thing that ever happened to me. His smile made my world go round. So please share this with your friends, up vote this, whatever – I don’t care about the points or karma- I just want the world to remember a little boy that everyone else forgot. Rest in Peace my sweet little man, I love you
This tore my heart to pieces. It’s an injustice that no family should ever have to face. The abusive father deserves punished for this and Quinten deserves justice.
And please share this story with everyone you know.