Sunday, December 9, 2007

Common Myths

This post contains common myths about Andrea's case and our lives. I'll continue to update the post over time.

Myth: I didn't change diapers. Source: Mrs. Kennedy, Andrea's mother. I found the following text here: "Andrea Yates' mother, Karin Kennedy, said her son-in-law told her after the birth of their fourth child that he had never changed a diaper." Andrea was a stay-at-home mother, and she did change most of the diapers. However, I also changed many diapers, starting with Noah. After Noah was born, Andrea returned to work for two weeks. During that time, I stayed home to take care of Noah in the morning, and Andrea's mother came over to take care of Noah in the afternoon. I was the only one home with Noah. Who did Andrea's mother think was changing his diapers at that time? It was me! Through the years, I changed hundreds of diapers. Also, I think I changed the messiest diaper. Early one morning, Andrea was swimming and Luke started to stir. I discovered that he was covered from head to toe in brown "goo". His diaper had leaked. What a mess! Not only did I change his diaper, I gave him a bath and washed his clothes!

Myth: I ignored Debbie Holmes' pleadings to seek medical treatment for Andrea. Source: Debbie Holmes, Andrea's friend. An anonymous reader referred me to this link that contains the following text: "Andrea Yates' best friend also took the stand Thursday and described how she repeatedly begged Russell Yates to get his wife help. ... Holmes testified that she called Russell Yates three times, sobbing and begging him to get help for Andrea Yates." This leaves the impression that Debbie was continually begging me to get help for Andrea, that I was ignoring her pleas, and that I didn't seek medical help for Andrea. These are simply not true. On May 3, 2001, while my mother and children were home, Andrea inexplicably filled our family bathtub with water. On that same day, Debbie visited our house and Andrea avoided her. Debbie called me later that day and suggested that we take Andrea to see a doctor. She wasn't hysterical. She wasn't pleading. She simply made an observation and a suggestion. I completely agreed with Debbie. In fact, we already had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Saeed for the very next day. At that appointment, Dr. Saeed admitted Andrea to Devereux for the second time. To the best of my recollection, that is the only time that Debbie ever offered any suggestions regarding Andrea's medical care. In fact, during the three months leading up to the tragedy, Debbie was not around much. She brought 2-3 meals to us, she went to the park 2-3 times with my mother and our children, and she visited Andrea in the hospital once. I know that Debbie cares about Andrea and that she was very hurt by the tragedy. However, I was really surprised that she had so many negative things to say after the tragedy given her limited knowledge of, and involvement in, Andrea's care.

Myth: Dr. Saeed prescribed 24/7 monitoring for Andrea. This is completely false, and I am not sure where this myth was started. It may have been part of Dr. Saeed's trial testimony. The fact is that Dr. Saeed diagnosed Andrea as depressed (not psychotic), and he treated her accordingly. Also, he never asked Andrea whether or not she had homicidal thoughts, and he never mentioned the possibility that she could pose a danger to herself or to our children. He knew that my mother was helping out some during the day. I hope that that was not part of his decision to not readmit Andrea on June 18, 2001, when she had obviously declined. An important point to consider is that a family can not protect itself from a psychotic person. Andrea could have just as easily burned our house down or poisoned us. There are many similar cases in which a mother killed her children while adult family members were home. A psychotic person belongs in a hospital. Period.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Yates. Something you said striked me. Obviously if Dr. Seed had asked Andrea if she had homicidal thoughts you guys would probably be in a different place today but I'm wondering do you know that medical doctors are supose to ask psychotic persons if they have homicidal thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Yes their supposed to. I am currently undergoing treatment for depression and I am asked if i want to hurt myself or others at every doctor's visit.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I only have an anxiety disorder and every single time I see a doctor, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or even school counselor, they ask me if I have suicidal/homicidal thoughts. So how is it that this profoundly depressed woman who was admitted to the hospital was NOT asked this question? Doesn't really add up to me.