ER Doctor in Miami lost Custody of Her Daughter because of Coronavirus

"I love my daughter more than anything, and that’s why I’m fighting this battle," Dr. Theresa Greene declares in an interview with PEOPLE magazine. 

Dr. Greene, an emergency room doctor in Miami, Florida, is afraid she won’t be able to see her 4-year-old daughter in person again only because she is now among the front line medical workers fighting against the pandemic. 
Theresa told her daughter, “I hope you can come home soon.” during a FaceTime session Friday afternoon,
“What do you mean?” the 4-year-old asked. “Aren’t I coming home?”
The 4-year-old is currently living with her ex-husband, Eric Greene, who won temporary sole custody of their daughter around 5 days ago after claiming in court that Theresa is exposing their daughter’s life to COVID-19 after dealing with patients.

According to PEOPLE magazine, Theresa is afraid her daughter is going to think she deserted her.
“I just fear that she’s going to think I abandoned her,” the doctor tells PEOPLE. “And that’s really, really hard for me.”
Before ending up the call with her daughter on Friday, Theresa says, “she was playing with her animal friends and she told me her cat was mad at me. And I’ve seen her do that before, she uses transference like that, while she talks to her animals.”
“I was like ‘oh, child, you’re breaking my heart.’”

The doctor’s attorney Steven Nullman tells PEOPLE that the idea that Theresa could easily expose her daughter to COVID-19 simply by virtue of working in the emergency room is a faulty one.
“This concern that Dr. Greene would come home and she would have all of that exposure, theoretically as they allege, on her and on her clothes and what have you, it’s not reality,” he says. “Because what would happen is she would be working one day, come home, her daughter would be with father… and then on the days that she had her child, she wasn’t working.”
Dr. Greene tells PEOPLE that she uses “all the precautions at work,” 
“When I come home, I take off my clothes outside, leave everything outside, it goes right in the washer, wash it on high, and I get in the shower,” she explains. “I actually am very paranoid and very careful — like if I touch the doorknob I go back and I Lysol that.”
The couple has been divorced for nearly two years and shared joint custody of their daughter in that time. Yet, the father won sole custody of the 4-year-old on April 9 until further notice.
This decision came as a result of the current virus “solely related to the outbreak of COVID-19,” and she is allowed to communicate daily with her daughter via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone, according to a copy of Judge Bernard Shapiro’s ruling obtained by PEOPLE.
“The court does not enter this ruling lightly, but given the pandemic in the state of Florida and the recent increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, the court finds in order to insulate and protect the best interests and health of the minor child, this order must be entered on a temporary basis,” the ruling says.
Theresa saying that a “prejudice” is against her because she is not married and tells PEOPLE that “Most of my coworkers have children that they go home to,” she says. “No one is calling CPS on them and saying, ‘you’re exposing your child to a deadly illness.'”
“No one is actually acting to protect the children of people who are married, and no one is asking them to sacrifice their jobs,” she adds.
The doctor’s attorney adds to PEOPLE that the “court made the ruling without taking any evidence or hearing from anybody who is qualified to give an opinion to the court as to whether or not children — or parents who work in the medical field and those children are more exposed than people who work in a grocery store or other type places.”
“Those people are not being asked to give up their children,” he says

The husband’s attorney Paul Leinoff tells PEOPLE in a statement that they both have the “upmost respect” for Theresa’s “commitment to her critical work during this pandemic.”
“We recognize and genuinely appreciate the sacrifices that she and all healthcare workers are all currently making to save lives and prevent further illness in Florida and around the world,” Leinoff’s statement says. “The Greenes’ temporary timesharing dispute was presented before the Court based upon the specific facts of this individual family and a decision was reached based upon the best interests and safety of a minor child, limited to the temporary circumstances presented by COVID-19.”
Leinoff added that the ruling in the Greenes’ case “was not intended to serve as a blanket rule, nor should it,” 
“Pursuant to Mr. Greene’s request and as ordered by the Court, Dr. Greene is to be provided future make-up timesharing for each day missed during this challenging time and daily video communication with the child,” Leinoff says. “We will continue to pursue ways to resolve this delicate situation and believe that a result can be achieved safely and fairly.”
The ER doctor said that “I just want to say that I love my daughter more than anything, and that’s why I’m fighting this battle,” Theresa tells PEOPLE.
“It’s become bigger than me too, in setting a precedent, and I need to do this for other people who are frontline workers in this situation and to fight what I believe is injustice,” she adds.
“I hope I have my kid back soon.”

So far, there are 21,019 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Florida, with 499 deaths. In the USA, there are at least 587,597 confirmed cases and 23,649 related deaths.

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