Monday February 1, 2010

Baby Isaiah’s Rapidly-Growing Facebook Page Disappears then Recovered

By Patrick B. Craine

EDMONTON, Alberta, February 1st, 2010 ( – The Facebook page in support of baby Isaiah May, the hospitalized three-month-old boy whose doctors have sought to remove his ventilator, has been recovered after mysteriously disappearing on Friday night.

The group has grown rapidly since Isaiah’s parents, Isaac and Rebecka, took their fight for his life public by bringing Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital to court almost two weeks ago. They sought a 90-day injunction against the hospital’s order to remove Isaiah’s ventilator on January 20th. Since that time, the Facebook group has grown from around 5,000 members to over 30,000.

It is believed that the group, called “Prayers for Baby Isaiah James,” has been influential in the parents’ bid to give their son a chance at life. Media have repeatedly cited the group’s growth as a sign of the large public support for the parents’ cause.

The reason for the site’s disappearance is not clear. The group’s creator, Tesa Leeder, told CTV Edmonton yesterday, before the site was restored, that she was afraid the group had been removed by a hacker.

“I think anything is possible,” she said. “I really want to know what happened. I’m hoping Facebook will provide us with that information because we really don’t know.”

In the meantime, the group’s administrators had created a replacement group, called “Prayers for Baby Isaiah May”, over the weekend, which has grown to almost 4,000 members in only a couple days. Now that the original group has been restored, however, they are asking supporters to use it instead of the replacement.

Isaiah suffered severe oxygen deprivation during a long labor, and has been at Stollery Children’s Hospital since his October 24th birth. He was declared “brain dead” shortly thereafter, and he has received very little treatment since.

While Isaac and Rebecka have watched Isaiah defy doctors’ expectations by growing and moving limbs, they were told in a letter on January 13th that “there is no hope of recovery for Isaiah.”

Isaiah was granted another three weeks (until February 19th) on life support by an Alberta provincial court judge last week while the Mays bring in a doctor for independent medical assessment.

See the Facebook page: “Prayers for Isaiah James”

Contact Information:

Gene Zwozdesky, Alberta Minister of Health

208 Legislature Building

10800 – 97 Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

Phone: 780 427-3665

Fax: 780 415-0961

E-mail: [email protected]

Stollery Children’s Hospital

8440 112 Street Northwest

Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7

General Phone Line: (780) 407-8822

Alberta Health Services – Complaints

Mail Slot 57

11111 Jasper Avenue

Edmonton, Alberta T5K 0L4

Toll-free: 1-877-753-2170

Telephone: 780-342-8080

Fax: 1-877-871-4340

Dr. Ernest Z. Phillipos, Director of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Stollery Children’s Hospital

Phone: 780-407-1305

Fax: 780-407-3030

E-mail: [email protected]

Office of Premier Ed Stelmach

Room 307, Legislature Building

10800 – 97th Avenue

Edmonton, Alberta

T5K 2B6

Phone: (780) 427 2251

Fax: (780) 427 1349

E-mail: [email protected]

See related coverage:

Baby Isaiah Granted Another Three Weeks for Medical Assessment

Baby Isaiah’s Case Part of a National Trend Say Advocates for the Disabled

Young Canadian Parents Fighting Hospital to Save Their Baby’s Life