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Couple fights for custody of ailing son

A Jordan, Minnesota, mother is asking that a judge alter an existing child custody agreement so that her terminally ill son can rest comfortably in one place.

The woman, whose son suffers from a rare neurological disorder called Neuroaxonal Dystrophy, petitioned a judge to allow the boy to stay at her home indefinitely to avoid moving him around. The boy is seemingly on his last leg of life. There is nothing more that doctors can do for him and he continues to get progressively worse.

Originally, a judge said that the boy's father can bring the boy home with him every other weekend. The father lives in the Minneapolis area, and would like to spend some final private moments with his son before he passes away.

A judge changed the ruling and said that the father could take the ailing child to a home belonging to his mother - the child's grandmother - every other weekend, as it presents a shorter distance.

Still, even this shorter trip might present hazards to the boy. A group of hospice workers currently working with the boy said that he should not be transported in his current state.

The boy often has fluid collecting in his lungs, and if an emergency struck during transport, the boy could easily die, according to one of the hospice workers. The boy's father does not believe this is the case and said moving him would not make the boy's condition any worse.

The boy's mother said this is not a plight to take the child away from his father, rather, to help preserve him as long as possible.

Family court judges always act on what they perceive to be the best interests of the child. If a judge believes staying in one place is best for the child, he or she will likely alter the custody arrangement. In that event, the father must oblige, and put his son's needs ahead of his own.

Source: KARE 11, "Jordan mother petitions judge to keep dying son home," Jay Olstad, Dec. 14, 2012

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