Lindsey Nagel holds her son, Rico, who is back with his parents after being in protective custody in Mower County. Rico has HIV. -- Photo provided
Lindsey Nagel holds her son, Rico, who is back with his parents after being in protective custody in Mower County. Rico has HIV. -- Photo provided

Brownsdale baby back with family after custody battle

Published 11:16am Monday, March 11, 2013

More court proceedings to come

A Brownsdale baby — removed from his home on Jan. 18 because of HIV concerns and the family’s approach toward the disease — is now back with his parents.

However, there will still be an evidentiary hearing in Mower County Court. The Mower County Attorney’s Office is not allowed to provide comment about the child protective services case, in which Rico Nagel was removed from his home at 1 month old, according to court documents.

The court order for Mower County Health and Human Services to take Rico was issued after a petition mentioned Rico’s parents, John and Lindsey Nagel, missed two doctor’s appointments. John and Lindsey testified that they thought those appointments were optional, that they sought a second opinion and tried to reschedule those appointments.

Much of the controversy surrounds an antiretroviral drug (ART) called AZT. Lindsey was on the drug until age 2, as she tested positive for HIV when her parents, Steve and Cheryl Nagel, adopted her 22 years ago. Steve and Cheryl stopped using the drug because they say it was slowly killing Lindsey, causing severe cramps and pain. Court documents mention repercussions of taking Rico off of the drug; however, Lindsey and John say they never stopped treatment nor would have.

Cheryl said over the weekend she thinks doctors suggested Rico go home because family is an important part of recovery. Cheryl said Rico looks well, is now 3 pounds heavier than when he was born on Dec. 19 but is still on a feeding tube.

Cheryl said human services will continue to check on Rico, and further court hearings will determine final measures.

Officials from Mayo Clinic were not immediately available for comment Monday morning.


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  • Mary mueller

    God bless little Rico and his family also. I wish him a successful recovery. No one can love a child like his own family. Mem

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