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Family Fights to Visit Son Declared Ward of the State

By Mallory Peebles, Crime and Law Enforcement, Natural Resources and Parks Reporter, Fill-in Anchor, mpeebles@ktuu.com
Published On: Feb 26 2014 08:31:00 AM AKST

A man’s visit to an Anchorage hospital has turned into a custody battle, with the parents of 27-year-old Bret Bohn saying they want to see their son -- but that the state has stripped them of that right.

ANCHORAGE -

It started as sleepless nights and has turned into a living nightmare according to the family of Bret Bohn.

His mother, Lorraine Bohn, says she took her son to Providence Hospital last October because he couldn't sleep for an entire week following the removal of nasal polyps. She says he was prescribed medication and sent home.

"He [still] did not sleep. His symptoms got worse, he started hallucinating," said Lorraine Bohn. 

She says his health deteriorated so badly that he even had a seizure. That's when she took him back to Providence Hospital. 

Lorraine Bohn claims the medication the hospital prescribed next included those used to treat Psychotic Disorders. She says he wasn't acting like himself and said he wanted to leave the hospital.

"He was ripping out his IV that was administering medication," said Lorraine Bohn. "He was ripping out his catheter. I helped the three nurses and security guards to get him to try not to hurt himself."

Lorraine Bohn says the family wanted to make decisions regarding his health but instead a court case was opened and a judge ruled against the family. 

Lorraine Bohn says during the case doctors finally diagnosed her son with an auto-immune disease that attacks the brain. 

Adult Protective Services manager Barbara Dick says the office investigates cases where anyone over the age of 18 is possibly being harmed or taken advantage of. Dick says it only advises that rights be taken away from immediate family as a last resort. 

"We can't just come in and take away somebody's right and say that's it. We have to take it to court," said Dick. "We have our state attorneys with us and we have the evidence to support that."

Dick would not comment on the Bohn case. 

Dick said if a judge does rule that custody is taken away from immediate family The Office of Public Advocacy will provide guardian services to the vulnerable adult.  

The Bohn family says the guardian for Bret Bohn says he is still being treated at Providence. The hospital would not confirm that.

A spokesperson for the hospital did share it's guardian and visitation policy which states, "The Office of Public Advocacy would have to authorize the disclosure of any medical information regarding patients with a guardian." 

The family says it will continue to fight for right for Bret Bohn and to see him. Lorraine Bohn says despite the courts ruling she and the rest of his family have his best interest at heart.