Dr. Oas also stated that the most current research on early intervention suggests that long-term brain deficits are known to be a consequence of traumatic life experience, especially in neonates, toddlers and children within the first three years from birth.
These deficits are even more pronounced if there are neurological/brain/developmental delays. They are best offset by immediate comprehensive and early intervention seven days a week by a parent who has knowledge of the specific skills to be applied and a strong emotional attachment to the child to offset environmental stressors.
After examining Teddy's medical records, Dr. William Bloom, a neurological consultant, said that Teddy's condition "seriously deteriorated beginning in the fall of 1997 and continued to deteriorate...she had previously progressed beyond expectation."
Dr. Bloom added that Mr. Coutsoukis made Dr. DeVivo aware that Teddy spent her days with her father who was her primary care giver since birth. Never-the-less Dr. De Vivo chose not to speak with Mr. Coutsoukis or Dr. Skouteli. He assumed the validity of the oral history provided by Teddy's mother.
Upon a change of treatment, Teddy suffered seizures of such severe magnitude (more than 15 minutes of unconsciousness according to her mother) that she was hospitalized twice on an emergency basis. Major setbacks or 'regression' as noted by Teddy's care givers followed the seizures. Dr. Bloom believed that removing Teddy from a medication that worked without serious side effects and substituting a ketogenic diet was a departure from standard practice. He said this resulted in lasting brain damage from the ensuing seizures.
Sandra Savo, a baby-sitter hired by Mr. Coutsoukis in April 1997 also testified in an affidavit regarding Mr. Coutsoukis. She stated that Teddy was a loving, happy child and adored her dad who, "goes out of his way to spend time with her and teach her new things."
Ms. Savo said she could only "imagine the horror and agony" Teddy and her father felt when they were suddenly separated from each other. Ms. Savo said she was there the day Teddy's mother "falsely" accused Mr. Coutsoukis of abusing and imprisoning her. Ms. Savo added she recently was rehired to help with Teddy during her vacation with her dad and found her to be frequently constipated, incredibly hyperactive and distractible, repeating the same thing over and over. She said Teddy had forgotten a lot of the things she knew like sign language, the alphabet, numbers, how to turn a knob, open a door, insert a key into a keyhole and personal hygiene. Teddy could no longer do elementary things like chew her food or blow her nose. She was temperamental and insecure, bites instead of kissing and salivated profusely. Ms. Savo said she had never in her life met "anyone as patient with a child as Photius."
Following Teddy's forced separation from her father, Ms. Samora practiced a sustained campaign of denying them access to each other which continues to this day. While Oregon law allows and encourages custodial parents to grant their children additional contact with the non-custodial parent, she systematically prevented contact between Teddy and her father. She even violated the court orders compelling her to provide medical and educational records and notice of medical emergencies.
Mr. Coutsoukis's attempts to contact his daughter by telephone were mostly met by hanging up of the phone, no answer and occasionally by excuses, such as "she is unavailable" or "we are on our way out", followed by hanging up.
Mr. Coutsoukis was not only not informed of hospitalizations until after the fact, but he was also prevented from visiting his sick child. He found out by accident from third parties that Teddy was hospitalized in August and in November 1997. The hospital staff informed him that the mother had instructed them to not allow him to visit.
When later on Teddy had an eye operation in New York, he only found out about it from a note the mother included in Teddy's bag when she visited him ten days later, instructing him to put eye drops in her eyes. That operation was a failure and Teddy was subsequently operated on again. This time Mr. Coutsoukis was informed about it from the surgeon who called to let him know that he had just performed the operation.
Meanwhile, as in Oregon, Ms. Samora refused to have any discussions with Mr. Coutsoukis about Teddy.
In subsequent court action, Ms. Samora accused her former husband of harassment via telephone and fax. Armed with telephone bills subpoenaed by Judge Braslow and recordings that he made of his telephone conversations, Mr. Coutsoukis went to court ready to defend himself.
After what Mr. Coutsoukis called "kangaroo" proceedings, where he was not allowed to present evidence or to comment on the other side's documents, and following a campaign to impeach her, Judge Braslow , recused herself in April 1999. A month AFTER having been recused, she sentensed Mr. Coutsoukis, and then suddenly "retired" in mid-term.
But Braslow did not go quietly. Following her recusal, and prior to quiting the bench, she ordered Mr. Coutsoukis, who appeared in Court without a lawyer, to go to probation for a year and to attend a "Batterer's Class", in spite of the fact that no allegations of violence or fears of violence were voiced by Ms. Samora, who was represented by a Braslow-appointed, free lawyer (who resigned twice).
Mr. Coutsoukis observed that the "batterers class" was populated by over 20 men from underpriviledged minorities and immigrants, most of them sent there by former Judge Braslow. In the class, which he said was "directed by a man-hating butch lesbian", he was told that it was intended strictly toward men in heterosexual relationships who committed violence agains "the women they are partnered with", but that there were men there who were sent for completely unrelated reasons as well, such as for drunk driving.
Mr. Coutsoukis was outraged to see these men called "perpetrators" and "batterers". They were warned to not express any disapproval or else they would "suffer consequences". They were lectured that "only men commit domestic violence"; that women who murdered their husband did so because their husbands "must have done something" to them; and that all women are credible all the time because "they have no reason to lie". During what Mr. Coutsoukis refers to as "brain washing" these anonymous "instructors" would forbid men to express opposing views, to discuss any published material, to bring in newspapers or to mention names of judges.
Mr. Coutsoukis, who has audio recordings of these "cult indoctrination" sessions, was outraged that "Kathy Walters and her two gay friends" went as far as to blame biological fathers for the deaths of babies killed by their mothers. Their contention that injustice to these men was just the price to pay for historical injustice to women, and that persecuting them in violation of the law and the US constitution was OK because, they said, "the constitition was written by men" prompted him to write a polemical complaint to these "instructors", and to ask the Commissioner of the Probation Dept. to "throw them out". The Westchester County Probation Dept., where these sessions were held, subsequently expelled them.
Incredibly, the leader of this "batterers class" told the participants that they taught this message in organized seminars to judges, policemen and even school children.
This reporter, who visited Mr. Coutsoukis and Teddy in Peekskill, agrees with Ms. Savo's last statement. She has never met anyone as patient with a child as Photius Coutsoukis.
I observed Mr. Coutsoukis spend three hours in the kitchen painstakingly preparing food for Teddy's ketogenic diet. While he was cooking, Teddy was already asleep for the night.
When she was awake, he cared for her lovingly as well as played with her, fed her and helped her in relearning to feed herself. He read to her, talked to her and constantly showed affection.
He repeated over and over with Teddy her colors, numbers, letters and words. He acted as her private art therapist, speech therapist, and a physical therapist. He appeared to be eminently qualified to give Teddy the proper care as well as a great deal of love.
As for himself, Mr. Coutsoukis said that he was struck by disbelief about his little girl's current situation and about "the despicable things that were done to her in full view of a country full of supposed humans".
Although Mr. Coutsoukis said that he worked in his home office on weekends when Teddy was not with him, he did not work while Teddy was there. He spent his time with Teddy and also enlisted this reporter's help in household tasks.
At the present time, the Coutsoukis divorce decree is under appeal in the Oregon Court of Appeals, and Mr. Coutsoukis is still seeking custody of Teddy in New York in order to "save what's left of" his child "before it is too late".CTR010707