Anna Nikolayev, 5-month-old Sammy and Alex Nikolayev
SACRAMENTO, CA (KXTV) - The day after a judge returned custody of a baby
taken into protective custody, the parents have been overwhelmed by
international attention. However, Alex and Anna Nikolayev said their
battle with Child Protective Services is far from over.
Sammy Nikolayev, 5 months old, was placed in protective custody last
week after his mother took him out of Sutter Memorial Hospital against
medical advice to get a second opinion from a Kaiser Permanente doctor.
The move came as a shock to the couple who had medical records from
another doctor clearing Sammy to go home with them.
On Monday, a judge returned custody to the parents as long as they
agreed not to remove Sammy again against medical advice. The boy is now
set to move to the children's hospital at Stanford within the next 24 to
The parents wanted to thank the public for the outpouring of support
they received. They said so many people have told them about their own
experiences with similar cases, and the couple hopes the attention their
case has received will lead to reforms in the system.
In the meantime,
Anna said after being limited to one hour visits with her son over the
last few days, finally being able to see Sammy as long as she wanted
came as a great relief to her and her baby.
"He lay down, closed his eyes, but then a couple seconds later, he
turned around, looked at me, looked back, turned around, closed his
eyes. A couple seconds later, same thing again, looked at me. It's like,
'Mommy, you're still here.' That was exciting," Anna said.
The couple said they expect their son to have heart surgery once he
gets to Stanford. Once it's all over, and the baby can come home, CPS
will check in with the couple. Alex and Anna had to agree to CPS visits
to regain custody. That's why they plan to continue to raise awareness
about what they see as a need for changes within CPS.
"I'm not sure who is the higher authority over them," Alex said. "The
higher authority needs to look into them because they have a very bad
track record, and somebody needs to investigate them."
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