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Health Impact News

Hannah close up

UPDATE: 10/9/2015

As of late this afternoon, Hannah is FREE! We don’t yet know the details, but we will update as soon as we can. What we do know is this, from the #FreeHannahG Facebook page:

Besides having a mother and siblings who would NEVER give up, a family that pulled together and formed an amazing circle of support, friends and colleagues that took a stand…and an amazing legal team…and YOUR support, I believe that she freed herself by being an amazing self-advocate. She still managed to touch hearts and make us all laugh from her not-so-royal tower on the 7th floor. This is the time to breathe, thank God and be grateful that she is home. Once the family has had time to rest after this 40 day hell on Earth, they will release a statement that will answer those questions.

Also, we received word that a copy of this article was sent to Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley as soon as it was published, and that he read it.

To all who worked hard for Hannah’s freedom, thank you. This is a beautiful testament to what families, communities, and the public can do to fight for freedom for families faced with the injustice and cruelty of medical kidnapping. Sadly, there are many more stories like this. Each victim needs advocates to speak out for them and fight for their freedom.

by Health Impact News/ Staff

Savannah Garcia, or Hannah, as she is known to those who love her, is a fun-loving young lady who is an important part of her community in Traverse City, Michigan. The 20 year old is a regular fixture at her neighborhood ballpark, where she cheers on her favorite players, and she is well-loved by all who know her. She loves her dog, her family and friends, stuffed animals, frappes, and her fiance. Even though she is autistic, she has been living in an apartment attended by a care team, and has been involved in making many of her own choices.

Until September 4, 2015.

That was the day that 2 doctors at Munson Medical Center filed a petition to remove Hannah’s mother as her guardian and to name a person completely unknown to the family, Stephanie Strehl, as her guardian. Health Impact has learned that psychiatrist Dr. Marilyn Conlon and internist Dr. Hal Yost are the physicians behind the charges, yet reportedly they have still not yet consulted with, or even spoken to, Hannah’s long term primary care physician. Nor have they fully reviewed Hannah’s records, according to her attorney Calvin Luker, reported by the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Yet their chosen guardian has taken away all semblance of choice and basic civil liberties from Hannah.

How Hannah Wound Up as a Prisoner at Munson Hospital

According to a press release issued by the RespectABILITY Law Center,

Hannah has a medical condition, Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, where pressure builds in her brain causing painful, punishing headaches. In 2012, surgeons installed a shunt to drain the fluid that causes the pressure.

Sometimes these shunts need adjustments, which is called a “shunt revision.” The details of the summer of 2015 may be found in the press release, but it comes down to this: on several occasions, beginning in May 2015, Hannah began having severe headaches. Always under consultation with her primary care doctor and neurosurgeon, her mother took her to 3 different hospitals on different occasions where objective medical testing revealed that there was an increase in intracranial pressure, which was causing debilitating headaches. Each time that surgery was performed, they found a medical reason for her severe pain, including a blockage in the tubing with cells. Another time, the tubing itself had become disconnected, and had to be repaired.