Update: Alex Spourdalakis
Today, Alex and his mom, Dorothy, will be leaving Loyola hospital in Chicago, heading to an undisclosed location out of state where he will receive appropriate medical attention. Age of Autism Contributing Editor Lisa Goes offers this update from Dorothy Spourdalakis:
To all the people who cared enough to get involved:
Alex and I would like to thank everyone for their prayers, good thoughts and cards with beautiful drawings and best wishes. I would especially like to thank the one person who became my son Alex's silent benefactor. She is truly my son's "angel".
It is during times like this we as a family realize our full potential. We know no one will help us unless we help ourselves. The continued abuse, medical neglect, discrimination and ignorance have to stop. Vaccines have maimed too many already and there are many more to come. The CDC's latest stats confirm that. We are not going away, nor are we giving up. My son Alex is just one of millions of children and adults who no longer will be silenced.
We as a group have been deceived and lied to long enough. Our children have paid and are continuing to pay the ultimate price because of greed. The health care system has failed terribly. It is our responsibility to continue to bring about change.
Please continue to follow Alex on his journey toward better health. Allow us to be a part of your lives. Our strength will continue to come from everyone and anyone who would like to continue with us. Alex will hopefully get the medical testing he needs but was denied until now. So much needs to happen in order for us ensure his recovery and I still need so much help! Please continue to follow my team of helpers for updates and fundraising efforts. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate and value every single one of you who have gotten us to this place. Thank God for the internet and facebook!
I could not have done this without the help of Mark Hellner of Center for Disability & Elder Law and Agatha, Alex's godmother and Michael my friend and Alex's respite worker.
I am grateful for Age of Autism, its editors and especially Lisa Joyce Goes. I am also grateful to Autism is Medical (AIM) especially Jill Rubolino and Jeanna Reed and Dawn. None of this would have been possible without them. There are others who have asked not to be identified. They also are heroes in their quiet way.
Lastly, and most importantly, I am proud of my son, Alex who has endured the unimaginable. I am proud to be his mother.
Love and Respect, Dorothy
The update is this: his mother was given all the help in the world. Given money, medical treatment, places to stay, and yet she still chose to stab Alex to death while he was asleep in his bed. CPS should have stepped in as they threatened to, but I imagine all this media attention held them back slightly.
Posted by: Anna | June 13, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Can we have an update Please?
Posted by: Annelie Roux | April 25, 2013 at 05:43 AM
How is Alex doing? Any more updates??
Posted by: Taximom | April 06, 2013 at 02:31 PM
If a child or even an adult is having a lot of stomach pains after a vaccine injury -- where would be the best place to go to get help.
Posted by: Benedetta | March 28, 2013 at 07:11 PM
I will continue to hope and pray. I contacted every Catholic entity that I could think of who could control the quality and care of that hospital right up to the vatican. I also pleaded with my own genetic care group TCH because there were some symptomologies that sounded like some of mine --the issues with depakoate and relationship to GI problems and urea cycles.
So, if at all possible we would love at some point to receive an update of Alex. My husband wanted to jump in the car and make the drive from Texas to you in the hosp and start slinging in. Each day several times he would call and ask for updates as he worked. Said he never felt so helpless and so dismayed with a hospital.
We send our love and care and may he get the help he needs.
Posted by: Carolyn Trim | March 28, 2013 at 06:04 PM
I have been thinking of Alex each and every day since I found out about his plight. Can someone re-post the names and addresses of the hospital and review board so that all of us can continue to make contact, even though Alex is now in a safe place? We cannot stand silent just because it's over for Alex. It could be my child next.
Posted by: Kris N | March 26, 2013 at 03:34 PM
I believe Alex will improve and feel better. Sadly, I think the only way Loyola will acknowledge wrongdoing is if they are legally held accountable. I think that is what we parents are left with. They do not act out of compassion or integrity. However, if their egos and money are involved they will act differently. When this example is set over and over practitioners will learn that not medically treating those with autism is unacceptable. Only then will the standard of practice be changed. They are following what has been accepted within their institutions. We need to shake them up a bit...a lot!
Posted by: Jackie Murphy | March 24, 2013 at 11:54 AM
Thank you so much to everyone who made this happen. Celebration time!
Wishing Alex a speedy recovery, and God bless Dorothy!
Do you think that six months or a year or so, we could get an update on how Alex is doing and what approaches helped the most for him?
Loyola knows how bad Alex was; if they see his improvement,they may, however grudgingly, be a little more interested in what kind of things to do for the next Alex that steps through their door.
Posted by: hera | March 24, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Dorothy, you and Alex are the true heroes of this story. Your resolve to get proper medical treatment for your son in light of his vaccine injury is truly inspirational! It is too bad that we are saddled with a medical system that is flat out designed with one purpose in mind - make money! Chronic illness that are sequelae to overvaccination are set up to keep America unhealthy and essentially addicted to pharmaceuticals over the duration of each precious individual's life time. My prayer is for complete recovery for Alex and all of our wonderful special children. My prayer also is for total exposure of our medical system as a fraud and a sham, designed to keep us sick, not make us whole!
Posted by: Brian Hooker | March 24, 2013 at 10:26 AM
So happy Alex will finally receive the services he needs and be on the road to recovery <3 Many prayers and hugs sent your way.
Posted by: Teena Young | March 24, 2013 at 09:17 AM
Please make a movie of his recovery. Alex will be the light for others. Love to you.... Enjoy this time... you are about to see amazing things.
Posted by: Billie Joe | March 24, 2013 at 03:11 AM
I think more than just Horton finally heard Whoville. Congrats to all who successfully put the control of this poor boys life back in the hands of his mother and a caring medical community.
Posted by: Nora | March 24, 2013 at 01:18 AM
I am deeply relieved to hear this outcome and very hopeful that you will get the help your son deserves. Thank you to all involved and thank you to the silent benefactor. When someone steps up like that...one person who can make such an impact I feel hopeful in so many other facets of life. Thank you from us all.
Posted by: Kathryn | March 24, 2013 at 12:10 AM
Advocates in both the legal and social services system that refuse to accept abuse of autistic people and bring these cases too light are a real blessing. More funding and support for these advocates are in order! And God bless the families who don't give up on their so called hopeless and difficult autistic children! There is hope. There is progress to be made. Never give up!
Posted by: Inga | March 23, 2013 at 11:31 PM
But looked at what it took to get help!
It was over the top-
It would be nice to be able to depend local medicine witch doctors, Instead of having to go to home utopia city to see some real white doctors- and modern medicine.
Posted by: Benedetta | March 23, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Prayers will continue. Thank you for allowing all of us to be a part of your lives and for allowing us to try to help. God is good......... May He watch over you continuously and give you all you need.
Posted by: janet Sutter | March 23, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Thank God for you! I am over the moon! My daughter brought your story to my attention, and I have since been following you and Alex on your journey! My heart feels lighter with your success at finding an angel to help get your son out of that horrible place. I will continue to pray for Alex, and, for all of those who are paying the price for something that they have no control over. Please take care of yourself, and thank you for everything you do. God Bless you and Alex. Dorothy, you are a true hero!
Posted by: Barbara Long | March 23, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Prayers go with you both for a successful outcome. What you and especially Alex, have had to endure at the hands of 'medical professionals' is outrageous. May God forgive their ignorance and lack of compassion. Hopefully they will learn something from this experience so that no one else has to suffer this maltreatment. Perhaps you and Alex will unwittingly blaze a trail for proper treatment for others in the same situation. It would give some 'meaning' to this nightmare. Blessings....
Posted by: Seonaid | March 23, 2013 at 08:56 PM
This is the best news! I have an "Alex" in my life who I would never want this to happen to! You may be making history here. Good Luck! Safe Journey!
Posted by: cheryle | March 23, 2013 at 07:21 PM
My heart is soaring with the wonderful news that Alex is heading towards a place where he will receive the appropriate treatment that he deserves. I am grateful to people like you and all who have helped you on this frightening journey which hopefully will now be a journey of health and great hope.
My prayers and thoughts are with you both!!
Posted by: Jan Randall | March 23, 2013 at 07:03 PM
The "silent benefactor raises the curiosity. I'd like one of those too!
I hope the journey continues to be this good for Alex.
Posted by: Carter's Daddy | March 23, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Crying happy tears for you and Alex. I have been consumed by your situation. Sharing the story, signing petitions, filing complaints, looking for updates. So relieved and hopeful for Alex's future now! Please give us updates on Alex as so many of us are emotionally invested in your beautiful boy.
Posted by: Lisa Sullivan | March 23, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Sending light and love your way in the hopes that the future of your journey is less perilous than its recent past. May the road rise up to meet you.
Posted by: Garbo | March 23, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Thank you Dorothy for persevering on behalf of your son, Alex! I think sometimes people underestimate the depth of fierce courage and unwavering tenacity that parents are capable of when it comes to protecting their children! We especially want to thank Lisa Joyce Goes and so many other parents (too many to name) who wrote, called, posted, contacted and/or thought outside the box to try to resolve your horrific situation. We will continue to keep you and Alex in our prayers. we finally got a cardboard mailer to send a get well card my son Kyle drew for Alex. Needless to say, we won't be sending it to Loyola MC! When you catch your breath and you get the chance, would you please post a new address for Alex and we'd love to send him his card! Blessings to you and Alex!
Posted by: Lesa Walsh | March 23, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Kim and Lisa tell us that your son will now get appropriate medical treatment. Somewhere. (Oh how very mysterious! Secrets,how exciting; just like I got from the CDC!)But wait, no that’s not right. It’s ‘he will HOPEFULLY get the medical testing he needs’. Not sure which it is—will get or might get. But ya all just keep on hoping. For as long as you can before you can’t help but notice that, in the present company you are keeping, that hope and a pile of shit sure does stink to high heaven.
Posted by: Robin Nemeth | March 23, 2013 at 05:03 PM
I send heartfelt wishes to Alex and Dorothy that he will receive good medical treatment resulting in better health and quality of life. And thanks so much to Lisa Joyce Goes for her incredibly strong advocacy, and to the others who have helped, especially the anonymous patron. Sometimes our community feels powerless to bring about real change, and yet we do collectively have power. Dorothy and Alex are not alone. Please let us know how things go for Alex. I hope that someone in mainstream medicine has learned something from this. So hard to break down walls of ignorant defensive preconceptions disguised as knowledge. The mind-body connection is a two-way street.
Posted by: Twyla | March 23, 2013 at 04:50 PM
First we would like to wish God speed to Alex and Dorothy in his quest for overall wellness. This new journey is a new beginning and will be difficult for them but they now know they have a community that will not leave their side. Please continue to pray for them and others in similar situations.
Additionally our family would like to thank the Age of Autism for having the courage to bring the story of Alex and Dorothy to light. Lisa Joyce Goes and the team from AIM should be commended for their efforts and taking action and setting aside time for Alex and Dorothy to be present and act as witness and inform us how to assist. Every person who took the time out of their lives to make Alex a priority over this last month are true heroes and define the word in our eyes. Any action that someone took in this could have provided that tipping point and we as a community are coming to realize that. This can be done if we do what it takes to do so and not look beyond why it is needed. There are many individuals like Alex's with unmet medical needs and many parents like Dorothy struggling daily. They need our support and we all need to be prepared in the instance this transpires in our lives. 1 in 50 children now have autism in the U.S. and it is unbearable to think that they could be left to suffer as Alex was made to do.
We'd also would like everyone to know that this took much, much more than anyone could ever imagine and involved people from so many places across the country that we may never know the "who's". What we do know however is the "what" and that is a solution for Alex and that really is what is of utmost importance.
Get involved folks locally folks and reach out, create a real community and be ready for next steps because there will be next steps needed as Dorothy has indicated and not just for Alex, but for our community.
Today is a bright day for which we are grateful and again much appreciation to those who cared and took action.
Alex and Dorothy we are here for you and others.
Posted by: Carolyn Gammicchia | March 23, 2013 at 04:44 PM
PRAISE THE LORD......SOOOO HAPPY TO HEAR THIS.....STRENGTH IN NUMBERS....WE WILL NOT GO AWAY UNTIL THIS MADNESS IS STOPPED !!!
Posted by: Lori Jorgensen | March 23, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Big hugs to Dorothy & Alex! You are in my prayers. Be well.
Posted by: Cat Kaner | March 23, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Dorothy well done and shame on the observe only team..
Posted by: Angus Files | March 23, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Thank you for the update! We autism parents, all over the country, have been waiting anxiously to hear this, and I'm sure I speak for all when I say how relieved we are to hear this!
Best wishes for helpful and appropriate medical treatment for Alex, and for a full recovery. From EVERYTHING. Also wishing peace and good health to his mother, who must be exhausted.
May I suggest that AoA post a non-denominational (or denominational, whatever) prayer for Alex's full recovery, and for his doctors to have wisdom and compassion, and for G_d to guide them if necessary, so we can all join in unanimously with an "amen?" (I'm a big believer in the power of prayer...)
Posted by: Taximom | March 23, 2013 at 03:48 PM
You are in my prayers with Alex.I wish you both good health and
above all strength to carry on.Please keep us up-dated.I hope they can help him,I hope he gets better,I hope he can smile again.
Posted by: oneVoice | March 23, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Dear Dorothy, I am praising God today for this victory! I have spent the past two weeks of my life fighting for Alex as though he were my own son...and he IS! Praying, crying, spreading the word. I will forever hold you and Alex in my heart. Your place has been permanently etched there. It was a David versus Goliath battle, and it was frightening! We serve a God who is alive and powerful, who has blessed us in the battle of good versus evil! Hundreds of people came together to fight for a child we never met, our hearts and minds linked together. I am grateful to your benefactor and to Mark Hellner for making this success possible! And also, Lisa Joyce Goes for keeping us updated, as well as your dear friends who were by your side to lift you up when you felt like you would fall down! I look forward to updates and hope you are able to keep in touch with us. May God continue to bless you and your precious Alex! With much love ♥, Donna Zahnle
Posted by: Donna Z | March 23, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Dorothy ... you and Alex remain in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by: Lori Orrico | March 23, 2013 at 02:51 PM
I've had Alex in my prayers since I first heard about him. I signed petitions and passed along info. I'm so relieved to hear he is leaving that awful hospital. I pray he gets the proper treatment and continues to heal. God Bless!!
Posted by: Lillith Brooks | March 23, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Good luck to you and Alex....
Posted by: Lisa Clark | March 23, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Dorothy & Alex,
I am so relieved to hear this wonderful news! Anything I can do to help further don't hesitate to ask. I have been following your story since day 19 of when I first saw it on Age of Autism and Facebook because of Lisa Joyce Goes and i have been posting daily updates to a special #SaveAlex post on my blog. I will continue as long as there is news. IN my past as a single mom with a son with Autism there was no help when I needed it most and I will always do anything in my power to help you and anyone who asks or needs it from me. We all have to stick together! All my love to you both and your awesome team! Go TEAM ALEX!
Posted by: Victoria Meyers | March 23, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Thank you for keeping us informed. You are in my prayers also!
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | March 23, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Please know that the sisterhood of mothers to children with special needs will always be with you! Please keep us posted & call on us for anything.
God Speed! : )
Posted by: Carrie Howland | March 23, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Great news, I hope Alex does well, and good luck Dorothy, it is a new start, and we will pray for him.
Posted by: Victor Pavlovic | March 23, 2013 at 01:19 PM
God size prayers are answered! We are here for you Dorothy & I hope you are able to let us join you in this journey of healing... Documentation is so important for the next child. We <3 you! @what do you think of the treatment of Alex Spourdalikis aka Kim
Posted by: Kim | March 23, 2013 at 01:05 PM
So happy Alex is leaving that horrible place. Dorothy is all of us and Alex is all of our children!
Posted by: Zurama | March 23, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Dorothy, I hope you get what you need for Alex. I am terribly sorry for what you and your son have been through. It is terrifying to learn that when our kids have a serious ailment we cannot take them to the hospital out of fear of them being tortured and imprisoned. I hope you are able to find answers for Alex and you can get him well enough to take home.
You are a hero.
Posted by: Caryn | March 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Wonderful news...praise God indeed! Please keep us posted as you are able, Dorothy, so we can pray for specific needs along the way. I will pray that God will direct Alex's doctor and his treatment plan. Hang in there, Dorothy and Alex, as this is a long and difficult road we all hoe.
I pray that every single doctor and staff member at Loyola Hospital will be personally convicted in their hearts regarding their wrongful actions and inactions, and that they will never allow such mistreatment, abuse, and neglect to happen under their watch again. There should be stiff penalties for their behavior, but I sure won't be holding my breath for that to happen in the earthly realm.
God bless you and your son, Dorothy.
Posted by: Laura Hayes | March 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM
Alex, Dorothy, and Agatha are Heroes!
Posted by: Renee | March 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Wishing all the best for both of you. I don't think you can begin to imagine how you have helped to educate. It took real bravery for your family to share with us. I hope Alex gets some help and relief. Your lives will get better when that happens!
I saw an article on a scientist the other day who "broke the glass ceiling" with her work. I respect her work and I am sure she is well deserving. I was also thinking that the real heroes are the ones such as families like yours. Your research is hard fought for without a paycheck or paid vacation. They may have passion, but I believe ours surpasses. I wish those benefitting from the epidemic would show more respect for the true heroes, our children and families, and be more forthcoming in educating the medical community and general public.
Posted by: Jackie Murphy | March 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM
This is wonderful news and I will continue to pray for your family. I am also thankful for the people who went to bat for Alex and were able to make this happen. Again, this just shows how much this community needs a equivilant of HSLDA and how much we need to make sure the parental rights bill is passed.
Posted by: Shelly | March 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Dorothy, please keep your virtual family informed of Alex's progress. I was incensed at his abuse, and I hope Loyola truly felt the wrath of our community. May all of organized medicine and the corporate Big Hospital world tremble at our outrage at the continued injustices our children have suffered.
Posted by: Les miserables | March 23, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Dorothy, what you and Alex have endured is beyond comprehension. You are a true testament of a what a mother is. Your devotion to your son and your willingness go above and beyond is commendable. As for Alex, I am sorry for the suffering he had to go through. It brings tears to my eyes to think of what they did to him. I too have a son with autism and can relate. Thank you for sharing his story and please let us know how he is doing. With the correct treatment Alex will continue to grow into the brave, handsome, bright young man we had a glimpse of. God bless you both!
Posted by: Deb Stone | March 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM
This is such good and welcome news. We too tried to get help for our son here in Minnesota and found that even though the Pediatrician knew about Dr Krigsman and Toughtful House and believed our son had severe GI issues, she would not refer us to a MN GI specialist. She actually brought in Psychologists at our LAST appointment - they suggested psych meds - we never went back. We too had to leave our state to get appropriate help.
Hang in there, it may take a little while but you will see your son with a consistent bright smile soon.
All the best,
The Kasemodel Family
Posted by: Tim Kasemodel | March 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Thank you Dorothy for standing up against all odds, we in the autism community are blessed to have you! I wish you and your son the best!
Posted by: Lynn Mulder | March 23, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Finally! I received 700 message and emails from parents in UK and overseas about Alex. This could have been my son Angelo thats why it struck such a chord with me because Angelo has very little speech.I handed a letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons and asked him to pass on my letter to his Counterpart in the US and explained about Alex.I am so pleased that he is now out of that place and with his mum and being treated medically for his gastro condition.I wish them all the luck in the world and I still stand by my motto you can either give in give up or give it all youve got and thats what we all did together. Anna Kennedy
Posted by: Anna Kennedy | March 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM
What wonderful news!!!! I pray that Alex gets the medical help he needs and is treated with the dignity everyone deserves. You will continue to be in my prayers.
Posted by: Leah | March 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM
Praise God!! Alex is free at last! My family will continue to pray for Alex and Diethy as they embark on the road to healing. My son has been down that road way too long. I pray Alex will receive God directed treatments that bring about great improvements to his life.
Posted by: Breann Winnell | March 23, 2013 at 10:56 AM
So much love to you (good vibes)
Posted by: Sarah D. | March 23, 2013 at 10:36 AM
So incredibly happy to hear some good news for you and your son, heroes to us all. I pray Alex gets relief from his pain and real help very very soon!
Posted by: Val Boergesson | March 23, 2013 at 10:36 AM
I wish Alex and Dorothy the best and I sincerely hope that the staff at Loyola has a new understanding of the intricacies, good, bad and ugly of autism and how vocal our community can become in times of need. As a Mom who has "outed" some of my kids' own stories I can tell you it's damn hard to go public - you worry about repercussions, about your own family, about how the world will look at you and about your child's privacy versus helping the larger community. There are no easy answers or ways to proceed. Caution signs are everywhere. I admire all of our readers who got involved. KIM
Posted by: Stagmom | March 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM
Dorothy, I hope you will find the time to read all of the comments to your letter today. Our hearts and prayers go with you and Alex as you finally leave Loyola. Wherever you go, please continue to seek out the help and support of other parents who are on this journey with you. None of us should go thru this alone. I have gotten great support from TACA over the years; I hope you can find a chapter, attend seminars, meetings and Coffee Talks. You will find the support, information and resources you need. If you remain in the Chicago area, there is an active Illinois chapter you can tap into. And I hope you can also find a way to attend the AutismOne Conference in Rosemont at the end of May. The people you meet, the information gained, it all has the potential to change lives. I wish you and Alex the very, very best. I especially hope that your beautiful son will get the ALL of the appropriate medical evaluation and treatment that he so needs and deserves. You are a rock, a warrior, a force of nature protecting and caring for your son. I hope you find rest and peace again in your life. I think it's safe to say, we as parents will all help you any way we can in the coming days. Just let us know what you need. God bless you.
Posted by: Linda Betzold | March 23, 2013 at 10:24 AM