This is the most heartbreaking story you’ll ever read. It’s a story that shows the love of siblings for each other in spite of having the same abusive father. Their journey, what happened along the way, and the outcome are all unforgettable. This is worth the entire read.
When Valerie first met her biological father, she found out that she had little brothers.
3 days after meeting them, their father asked if her brothers could come live with her, while he worked overseas. This was their first night together, they were 6 and 7 years old at the time, and Valerie was 19. Because of the fact that Valerie only met them 3 days before she became responsible for them, the love she had for them is less like a sister, and more like a parent. This is Quinten. He was 7 when he came to live with Valerie. Quinten was born with a very rare chromosomal abnormality (Ring 9 Chromosome) that rendered him unable to walk, talk, or care for himself.
He was the happiest little guy, though. He would laugh and giggle at anything.
He loved music, and water, to be held and snuggled, and twirled around. He liked to be treated like a BOY, not like a fragile baby – and he WASN’T sick, or fragile – there were just some common sense things that people had to pay attention to. He never, EVER cried, unless he was faking it to get more snacks.
Anywhere Quinten went, Cameron went too.
Despite being the younger brother, Cameron was Quinten’s bodyguard. He fought for him, he told him his secrets, he snuggled him when he wasn’t feeling well. When he was in first grade, Valerie actually had to home school him, because he couldn’t function in public school – he was too worried about where Quinten was, and if he was okay.
This is Quinten on his birthday.
Valerie would’ve given him white cake, trying to avoid a mess, but he decided he wanted chocolate! So he reached across the table, pulled the cake to him, and dug in! That’s how Quinten was around food – you’d think it would be out of reach, but then he’d have it in his mouth as soon as you turned around.
After almost 4 years of caring for them, Valerie reached a point where she could no longer, emotionally or financially, do it anymore.
Their father was sending money, but Valerie still had to work. Finding affordable daycare for the two of them was next to impossible, and Cameron was reaching the age where he needed his Daddy. So Valerie asked their father to return to the States and get them. This is Valerie telling them goodbye at the airport.
After 2 years overseas with the boys, their father returned back to the states to live.
Valerie was ecstatic. They were only 4 hours away, and Valerie would visit as often as she could. They were 12 and 13. As time passed though, Valerie started noticing that Quinten was looking very pale, very thin… and he wasn’t happy anymore.
Valerie tried coming to town more often.
Every time she came there was no food in the fridge, the house was filthy, and everyone was so… sad. She would buy groceries, and spend her entire visit cleaning. And it would be right back the way it was before the next time she came down. The boys kept on getting sick – colds that never went away, but their father never took them to the doctor.
Valerie realized that their father had stopped taking care of the kids.
Cameron, who was 14 by then, was bearing the brunt of the burden – cooking, taking care of Quinten and himself. Everything from bathing to diapering. Their father was also physically and emotionally abusing Cameron. After coming to this realization, Valerie did one of the hardest things she’s ever done, up until that point – on December 17, 2012 – she turned their father in for child abuse.
A worker came out to the boys’ schools, and interviewed Cameron.
He told her he was being left alone to take care of Quinten all day long, that his father was abusing him and that there was hardly any food in the house. This worker promised them, and promised Valerie that she would be going to their home to do a home study. 3 weeks they waited. 3 weeks Valerie called Cameron’s cell to find out if she’d been by. She never showed up. Cameron told Valerie that every day, he’d hold Quinten and say, “Just be patient Bubby, Sissy is sending someone to save us.” But no one ever came.
Valerie struggled so hard with wanting to just drive down and get them since this social worker had obviously decided that Christmas shopping or something was more important than getting her brothers out of this hell hole.
But every time she called DHS, they told her to just be patient, that someone would be out soon, and if that she took the boys, she would be charged with kidnapping. Since she lives out of state, it would be considered felony kidnapping, and she’d never see the kids again – they’d go right back to their father.
Quinten got sick again right around New Year’s Eve, and once again, was not taken to the doctor.
All their father did was buy some Nyquil and Vick’s vapo rub, and told Cameron to give it to him. On Janurary 3rd, Cameron called Valerie, freaking out saying, “Something is different. He’s not getting better. He won’t eat, he’s crying, and I can’t get him to stop.” He put the phone up to Quinten’s ear, and Valerie told him, “Bubby, I love you. You’d better get better, I’m coming to town tomorrow and I’m going to hug you and squeeze you and take you home with me. Everything is going to be ok.” Cameron said he smiled, and stopped crying when he heard Valerie’s voice. Cameron and Valerie both begged their father to take Quinten to the hospital, and he said he would that evening. And he didn’t. So Valerie’s husband and her made plans to leave town around noon the next day, drive down and phone the police from the house, and say, “Either you guys take custody of the kids, or let us take them, but get them out of here.”
Valerie told Cameron to hold Quinten, and rock him, run his hands through his hair, that even when medicine can’t make you feel better, hugs and snuggles sometimes do.
So Cameron moved his mattress into the living room, and put it next to the couch where Quinten slept because his mattress was too pee stained. If you zoom in on the cardboard in this picture, you can see feces dried on it. There was literally human and animal waste all over the house.
On the morning of January 4th, Cameron woke up, and Quinten was dead.
Cameron was holding his hand in his sleep, and he woke up to it being cold. He ran for their father, who, as always, was in his bedroom on the computer. Their father tried to perform CPR on Quinten, to no avail. When the paramedics arrived, they said he had been dead for at least 3 hours. This couch is where he died. If you zoom in on the picture, you can see discoloration on the upholstery where he had peed through. This couch was literally so soaked in urine that if you sat on it, your clothes would smell like urine even after washing them. Valerie found out just recently, that while they were waiting on the paramedics, their father forced Cameron to change the diaper on Quinten’s dead body in order to cover up the fact that he was covered in his own filth.
Valerie worked, pretty much around the clock, to try to see justice served.
Their father needs to be in jail and there is just no other way around it. It takes a special kind of monster to look the other way while their child wastes away to death. Unfortunately because NO ONE did their jobs and documented the abuse, it looks like their father could very well get away with this.
Valerie wanted to put this out to remind everyone that if you even THINK that a child is being mistreated – SPEAK UP.
Especially if they are disabled. Many people think that disabled = sick, and it does NOT! You may be the only voice that they have. Don’t worry if their parent is your friend, or your family member, that you might start drama. You could be the only thing preventing a young boy having to stand over a coffin to tell his brother goodbye for the last time.
But also, Valerie just want people to remember him.
His name was Quinten Douglas Wood, and he was the best thing that ever happened to Valerie. His smile made her world go round.
So please share this with your friends. Valerie just wants the world to remember a little boy that everyone else forgot. It’s an injustice that no family should ever have to face. The abusive father deserves punished for this and Quinten deserves justice. Share your thoughts in the comment below: