Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Abbie Dorn Story

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing about my fellow Jewish triplet mother, Abbie Cohen Dorn.I have been following her story for a while, and I am a whirlwind of emotion about her family and situation.

You can read all about her circumstances here and here,

but because I know few people actually click on links, I will do my best to summarize in my own view, based on my personal connection to the issue.

In a nutshell, Abbie Dorn a religious Jewish woman, she got marriedand wanted to start a family with her husband. Like me, she hit the jackpot with not one, not two, but three babies. She delivered her triplets at Cedars Sinai Los Angeles, in June of 2006. Her BBG triplets were born healthy but during her c-section her uterus was nicked and she bled out causing cardiac arrest and the inability to be revived for more than 20 minutes. This caused a brain injury that to this day has left her unable to care for herself or her family.

Dan Dorn, her husband has divorced her (one year after the birth and malpractice)and is raising the triplets by himself in Los Angeles, while Abbie is in the care of her own parents in South Carolina. The legal battle of the Dorns is not really about custody, but rather Abbie's legal rights to have visitation with her children. Her ex-husband has forbidden the children from a relationship with their mother because of her condition.

Dan Dorn has not been interviewed and has only spoken through his attorney. I find it odd that he does not want his children to have any contact with their mother but he is asking for child support from her estate. I am horrified.

Obviously, this story hits on a few of my nerves. I can't understand why Dan Dorn is really opposed to allowing supervised visitation. Clearly, Abbie is unable to be a custodial parent, but her desire to see, hear, touch and witness her children is understandable. I know that her parents are making decisions on her behalf, and I am sure they would like to continue to have a relationship with their grandchildren. Even if Abbie is in a vegetative state and does not understand or know what is happening, why can't she have her triplets in her life? Her condition and prognosis is up for debate but I am not sure why that is relevant. She is alive, her children are alive- let them share some time together.

How can a father keep his children from knowing they have a mother? What good is it to shelter them from her? What happened to their wedding vows? Who bails on a marriage with triplet infants when the going gets tough?

The case is not about her right to be a caregiver but to just have visitation.

I just do not get it. This case has been on my mind for quite sometime, and I know that there are plenty of triplet moms who read my blog. I am posting this to show my support for Abbie and her parents. I hope they get the justice they so very much deserve.

As a Jewish woman, a triplet mom, and a firm believer in karma, I pray for these children.

If there is one positive thing that can come from this story, it is the keen awareness of how lucky I am.


Nothing shocks me anymore... said...

I have been following this story too and it infuriates me to no end! (Her parents used to live in the township over from me up here near Canton.) I question his *religiousness) when it comes to divorcing his critically injured wife and taking the kids away from her emotionally. THEN to have the audacity to demand child support for the kids.. from her malpractice monies --- that takes balls. This is not money she is hoarding for her pleasure. It is being used by her parents to care for her. They are not asking for the kids to live there- they want the children to know who their mother is. That she loved them and gave them life. She poses no harm to them. I don't understand why hiding their mother from them is the best thing( in dads opinion)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I had not heard of it and as a mother myself, I cannot imagine what she must feel. I am so glad that she has her parents to advocate for her in this tough time.

Michele S said...

Okay, that guy is a prick on all levels. How dare he not let her see her children. She almost died having them and then he denies her the right to climb on her lap and stroke her hair and hear them call her name? Kids are so innocent. Had they known her as their mother from the beginning, they would know nothing else. That would be their "normal".

Who divorces their wife after that? This man cannot claim to be of any religion. You must have a SOUL to be religious.

Aaryn said...

oyish.... as much as we want to say how awful it is that he left her, we don't know what he is capable of handling or's not our place to judge. what makes me sick is that he doesn't even have the desire for his children to know their mother...that's the real issue to me.

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

Oh Aaryn, I am judging, and I hope others judge too-

I am not on my high horse that he divorced her or that he is actively trying to milk the estate for child support, I am digusted that he refuses to acknowledge her as a person and a mother.

Regardless of all the petty drama can you imagine how these kids are going to feel when they learn the whole truth?

It just saddens me to think that this could have been me....there are too many what if's for me.

Anonymous said...

Abbie and her children have a constitutional right to be present in each other's lives. I can't understand how this chump can try to attach the money she received from the malpractice suite; that money is sanctioned to pay for Abbie’s medical costs. Once the money is gone it won't be replenished and where does that leave Abbie and her parents!

I agree with the theory that Dan Dorn is not religious; no man of any faith would abandon his wife and disregard the vows they shared at their wedding! He’s a coward and his wife and children deserve so much better!

Thank God Abbie's Parents were there to support her and stand up for their daughter's and their grand children's rights!

Smirking Cat said...

I was trying to find out what happened in the last court hearing (should have been in July) but all I can find are old articles from April. Does anyone know if a judge has ordered visitation rights for her?

I also absolutely judge parents who refuse the right to allow children relationships with BOTH parents. I see it every day with an alienating mother hell bent on trying to turn the children against their father, and you better believe I harshly judge someone who deliberately and maliciously hurts a child.

info said...

Thanks for keeping the story alive. It hurts me as a Jewish Father to think that someone would forbid his children to see their mother. And to petition the court for child support. The money set aside to assist this poor woman....SICK.

Anonymous said...

Just to note, I am pretty sure Abby did not want to have a C-Section and her Dr was willing to allow her to try for a vaginal delivery. The babies were born vaginally and Abby was fine for the next many hours after the delivery and even called some of her friends to inform them of the good news, it was hours latter she began to suffer from complications..... What a tragedy!

Anonymous said...

This is sad. The thing that strikes me..the"Orthodox Jewish". I am appalled at how that religion treats /views their women. Almost or as bad as Catholic men. So no surprise, "she is disposable". The divorce, he needs to move on, but to her children..this is their circumstance and is not harmful to teach children to "care, love and nurture the disabled"..and for sure their MOM who is there thru no fault of her own. What a tragedy. As to the support..shame on the attorney for not joining the children in the damages awarded (separate damages) as to loss of consortium. Though hard to be a single parent (he got plenty of options to replace her with a wife...even 'arranged" and he can get rid of her if she not produce children blah blah (Orthodox). Her 8 million should stay for her care..what..just toss her to horrible medicaid when it runs out? He is an ass..disconnected. But then..your sould purpose is to serve and baby produce and earn a living while the men sit around and read Torah arguing if it is a use two pots /vessels in cooking...(???WTH?) See the movie Kadosh. Educational for sure. God bless Abbie Dorn and see to it her children get to kiss her cheek.

Anonymous said...

I just saw this story online and your column came up, I had to write: WHAT will these kids think when they find out the truth as adults? That they had a mom and their dad never acknowledged or let them visit her? I cannot imagine finding out something like that, can you?

Michele Shanholtz said...

I have a twin brother who was in an accident and suffered a severe head injury. The doctors told us he would never walk or talk again. He was in a coma for over a month... the whole time he was in the coma, he understood what we were saying to him. When he woke, he understood what we were saying to him. Although his shell was broken, he was still inside. I am happy to say that this was 10 years ago, today he is talking and he can walk with help.Because he had a mother, father and sister who loved him unconditionally and we never, ever gave up. It was hard some days but, we were strong and I can see that this family is too. You have to be.
I love this family who loves Abbie. She is still Abbie and I pray that you see all the miracles that occur every single day. They are there. Appreciate them and look for them.
I will say to Dan... your life is not over yet. Accidents happen daily. Will you be left alone if it happens to you? Your beautiful wife was giving you both a wonderful gift when this happened. Is she to be blamed and tossed away? Are you trying to punish her for things beyond her control? I pray that you Dan, will never have to face the loss of your family, the loss of your limbs, your life but, if an accident happens to you, I hope that you have lonliness, I hope that you feel empty and I hope that you hurt because those are all things that you are making Abbie feel by taking away her children.
Who are you to judge the things that your children should feel or see when it comes to their mother? Their mother is still there. You are robbing those children of true love and compassion. Of the sense of caring. Life is not all peaches and creme. I believe that that is the best lessons that you can teach your children. Although accidents and illness are hard to bear... it does make you stronger people. Those kids have every right to show their strengths. Who knows, they may be her miracle and Dan has taken that away from Abbie.
Abbie, God bless you. I pray that everyday you get better. I pray for miracles... because they do happen... daily. My family and I rejoiced in them. I pray for strength for your family... wonderful family please do not let this come between you all. Stick together, take turns with the care and care for yourselves too.
I pray that the judge has a heart. I pray for his/her wisdom. I hope that your children will know their mother, love their mother and one day have the option to help care for their mother. That is what life is.

bonesysblahg said...

Okay, so I'm a little late to the party.

I am absolutely horrified that he would have the audacity to deny the children a relationship with their mother. Regardless of what that relationship may be, due to her disabilities, she is still a person! To deny ANY mother visitation of her children is heartless and cruel, both to the mother AND the children. They deserve to know who she was before the medical mishap(s). Apparently, this "man" is unwilling to grant his children that basic right. The only hope they have of truly knowing who their mother is, and was, is through visitation and stories from people who love her. It's quite clear that Mr. Dorn does not.

Beyond parental rights, the Cohens deserve their rights as grandparents. I'm appalled by this story, on SO many levels!

Anonymous said...

I have been hearing about this case on the news and was so saddened to learn that after this woman became disabled during the birth of their triplets her husband not only abandoned his marriage vows but ALSO is forcing his children to live without their mother...truly appauling. Finding out that this man was supposedly a devout Jewish man makes it simply uncomprehensible...I can only imagine the emotions that must accompany such a tragedy but to me the biggest tragedy is that a family would be shattered, rather than united in love, in the wake of such an event. Much love to Abbie and her children and may the pure love of her Father be with her forever.

Stephanie said...

I just read an update to this story - so glad the judge has signed granting Abbie visitation with the children. I know this story isn't over yet !

Stephanie said...

I am glad to hear the judge has signed visitation rights for Abbie. She and her children need to be in each other's lives!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a frum community, and currently live on the periphery of one, since our children are being raised as Jews, however, my husband is not Jewish.

After reading this, and knowing from the inside about a lot of other cases of cruelty to frum married women (and I don't mean only the agunah situation), I am glad I married a nonJew, and would be afraid for my daughters to marry a religious Jew...especially not when divorce is so easy and can only be initiated by the man. Chas ve'sholom.

Anonymous said...

It just dawned on me that Abby Dorn's situation could have easily been mine in one regard.

When my last child was born 12 years ago, I was trying to have a VBAC, after 2 prior Csections. I had what is known as a catastrophic rupture, and they had to do an emergency Csection and partial hysterectomy.

I was later told that if they had not done it as quickly as they did, I could have died or been left brain injured, and so could my daughter. Thank G-d we are both fine as a result of that.

Barbara Taylor said...

I know this word has been used by other commentators, but he takes the word prick to the max. He walks around like a poster for Judaism, yet practices none of its tenets. What a horrible man and I feel so bad that these triplets will only have him as a role model The love that they can lavish on their ill mom could be beneficial to her, and it will also benefit them. What is he so afraid of? Is she going to get well miraculously and take them away from him? He is a horrible human being and doesn't deserve the blessing of 3 children. Poor woman, losing her chance at life due to an inept doctor, and now losing even more because she married a selfish, disgusting man. It is sickening!!!

Anonymous said...

I read this morning in our local paper that Judge Schaller ruled that Abby will have visits each summer. Bless him for understanding the value of a mother/child's love for each other. So very sorry to know about this. Thank you for your blog and letting us know Abby. Bless You.

Sarah said...

Victory for Abbie! I'm thrilled for her that the California Judge ruled she's entitled to one week of visitation per year as well as monthly skype calls. Here's hoping the husband's likely appeal doesn't get in the way of this contact starting IMMEDIATELY, and that Abbie and her children can begin to get to know one another in all the ways they deserve. Three cheers for justice!!!

Sarah said...

Victory for Abbie! I'm thrilled that the California Judge has ruled in her favor, allowing one week of visitation per year as well as monthly skype calls. Abbie and her children deserve to get to know one another, and it's a shame it took a judge to make that happen. I'm grateful to God for his hand of justice on this case. Thanks for sharing her story.

Anonymous said...

JUSTICE has been served for my lovely Abbie Cohen (she should not carry that DORN name any longer) She will get 5 consecutive days per year visitation and monthly Skype connections with her triplets, Dog I meant Dan should set up a pedestal with pictures of Abbie for the kids to have access to 7 days week 24 hours a day YEeeeeS. yuuupy.

I have been following her story from the LA TIMES and this morning I awaken to read this wonderful news.

I am not Jewish but my husband is and I can not tell you what a wonderful husband He is, but we already signed a document that our parents will always be allowed to be part of our son's life if something should happen to any of us. That was the condition for me to even think about having another baby. (after reading Abbie's sad story,and cedars as my hospital)
I've cried reading Abbie Story, seeing her picture of her wedding day with her Daddy, I know God has a plan for Abbie and her triplets, (God has a plan for Dan too). I hope not woman ever marry him "HOW SCARY"

I don't know you Abbie but I love you already" i pray for your well being.

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