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Justice for Zachary Thacker - An Innocent Father
$655 raised
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13 contributors
29 Weeks running
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Zachary Thacker is wrongfully charged with the death of his 3 month old son. One doctor is calling it Shaken Baby Syndrome. Please help his family in hiring medical experts to prove otherwise. More

January 19, 2015, Zachary Thacker and Bethany Vann were blessed with the arrival of twin baby boys, Robert Douglas and William Ray. Both were born beautiful and seemingly healthy. Rob was born first and smaller than Will. Over the next couple months both did rather well although Rob did not gain weight as fast as Will. After getting their 2 month vaccinations, Rob became fussier and starting eating less. Although they were concerned they felt this to be normal. Three weeks later on April 22, 2015, Zach was home with all three children (they also have a daughter, Riley, who turned two years old three days after the twins arrived) while Bethany was at work. Feeding time for one parent had proved to be very difficult so they had developed a prop system with the boys and they did well. Rob choked on his bottle while feeding and Zach was immediately at his side. Rob quit breathing while he was choking and Zach attempted to perform CPR with no success so 911 was called and Zach ran next door with Rob to a neighbor who was a retired firefighter. By the time the ambulance arrived, Rob had begun to breathe again. The medic even made note of the formula Rob spit up and that came from his nose. Rob was taken to the local hospital and it was decided that it was best that Rob be observed overnight at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN as a precaution as they were better equipped to care for a 3 month old infant. Bethany stayed overnight with Rob at the hospital and during the night he started projectile vomiting. Virtually no tests were done to find reason for the vomiting but a urine test had showed trace signs of an infection but nothing was done. At Bethany’s insistence an ultrasound was done of Rob’s stomach but nothing was found. He was diagnosed with possible acid reflux, sent home and Bethany was told to follow up with her pediatrician. Over the next several days, Rob was still fussy and not eating well. On the morning of April 30, 2015, Zach was again home with the twins while Bethany had taken Riley for a dental procedure. Rob had another seizure and once again quit breathing. Again, 911 was called and Zach performed CPR on Rob with no success. When the first responder arrived he also attempted CPR but to no avail. The first responder had to radio for an ambulance 3 more times before one finally arrived. 45 minutes passed from the time Rob quit breathing until he arrived at the local hospital and was finally resuscitated. The ambulance did not have the right tubes for an infant to get him on oxygen and at the hospital the tube was inserted too far down and collapsed Rob’s lung. This was not discovered or corrected until after Rob was life flighted to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Although Rob had been resuscitated he was comatose. Immediately after doctors saw the “triad” of symptoms: bleeding in the retinas, bleeding under the dural matter of the brain (subdural hematoma) and brain swelling, Zach and Bethany were both questioned for suspected child abuse. DCS was immediately involved and the investigation began. Not once did the hospital attempt to figure out or look for anything else that might have been responsible for Rob’s condition. For five very long days, we all prayed and hoped for a miracle but were told Rob was brain dead and would never be more than he was right then. On May 4, 2015 at 9:35 pm, Rob was removed from life support and became our angel. Zach and Bethany were crushed and broken as we all were. One month later, they arrested Zach saying that he had to have shaken Rob.

Zach’s charges are based solely on the opinion of one medical professional, Dr. Verena Brown, Vanderbilt’s Child Abuse Specialist. There is absolutely no other evidence, physical or otherwise, to support these charges. Rob did not have a single mark, bruise or scratch on him, no broken or fractured bones. Nothing. Medical records from both hospitals support this. Since Zach’s incarceration, Rob’s twin brother Will has suffered from five seizures where he quit breathing during two of them. Thankfully, both times that he quit breathing, there was someone present who knew what to do. Will is currently on seizure medication. His first seizure occurred almost six months after Zach was arrested. Zach’s attorney, Bethany and our entire family believe that Rob’s death was the result of medical issues that had went undetected. Zach loves his children dearly and would never do anything to hurt them.

Zach’s trial is currently scheduled for July 10, 2017 and that leaves us barely over 6 months to prepare for it. Fortunately, there are many medical experts that are available and willing to offer their assistance in Zach’s case but unfortunately we have not been able to find one that will offer their expertise for free. It is very sad and discouraging that with all the medical experts that are available, the size of one’s bank account is what stands between an innocent man and his freedom. Money should not be the object that decides the fate of an innocent man.

This is Zach’s last chance for a fair trial. In order to secure the best outcome in his case, we need to hire the medical experts that are so desperately needed. Our family is not anywhere close to being wealthy and we do not have the resources to pay for the experts that are needed. We need your help. Every last penny donated will be used to hire the medical experts needed to prove that Zach is innocent. Please find it in your heart to help us. Thank you and God bless you all.

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