Last July, little Mason Bright, then five months old, fell forward and hit his head on the driveway. His mother, Melissa, took him to Texas Children’s Hospital where doctors found two skull fractures and what seemed abnormal bleeding on his brain. That spurred a “child abuse pediatrician” to say that abuse of Mason must have been the cause. Later, better-informed medical opinions said that Mason had a rare clotting disorder that could explain the bleeding and that it’s not unusual for such a fall to cause more than one fracture.
But CPS had already acted. They took Mason from his parents, Melissa and Dillon Bright, and placed him 40 miles away with a relative. That arrangement didn’t work out and soon Mason was back with his parents. The Brights had understood that his placement with the relative was temporary, so, when a caseworker contacted them to ask how the little boy was, they happily responded with updated medical information and happy-child photos.