Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unknown - 2010

In an remote outskirt of a small town called Virgin in Utah a 15 year old boy suddenly felt a pain in his head. What set this lethal birth defect up is unknown. Was he upset? Was he forced to move stones weighing half his own weight as they force the boys to do as punishment? Did the staff try to restrain him believing that he faked his illness?

We cannot know that. Fact is that the many miles from any hospital meant that he had no chance of survival once the attack came.

On the memorial site created by his mother she explain why he was sent away. Strange and partly dangerous behavior made his mother believe that she had no other choice but to choose a so-called residential treatment center.

But she had another choice. It is common knowledge that tumors or birth defects in the brain can push nerves and interfere with common sense.

But none show his behavior as a symptom of a deadly illness. They only saw a troubled teenager in need of a punishment and punishment he certainly got.

No phone calls, no visits, only letter writing. And the mail was not even by computer. A letter of comfort would take days to reach him.

Days of moving rocks, participating in a in-house school with a curriculum which would have been difficult to get credits for back in Texas. That was the sorry life he had to endure until his body couldn't take it anymore.

Hidden birth defects and brain aneurysm kills a lot of people every year. We need to increase awareness of that. Especially we who are parents need to be on alert so we don't commit the same failure and punish our children instead of taking them to a hospital where they can be examined and if possible treated.

May he rest in peace. His fate must never be forgotten.



  1. To the author:

    Prior to you writing about my son, Taylor, you should have taken the time to contact me, his mother, to gain insight about the facts so that you could post correct information. I am outraged by your post and do not believe you are working in the interest of human right organizations; you are exploiting the innocence of children. We have visited countless doctors, therapists, and local hospitals and not one professional said perhaps we need a brain scan. I am my sons greatest fan and went to extreme lengths regarding his personal care. I have letters from my son that do not reflect a vial facility but praised his therapists and the personal triumphs he accomplished in a very short time. You do not know anything about Taylor's last moments nor do you have any idea about the severity of his BA.

    Before you post about another family's struggles, pain, personal information, take the time to gain facts about the child, the family and more importantedly, the facts. I am very vocal and have worked tirelessly to raise awareness about BA and certainly would have taken to time to correct you on your uninformed post.

  2. I would also like to add, I visited the facility, I talked with the children and the staff members. I also have over 40 letters to me from the children in the treatment facility and have relations with 4 children that were close to Taylor, not one of them have a negative word about their experience while in the facility. Taylor's Mom

  3. Hello Taylor's Mom,

    My condolences for what you are going through. I've heard the loss of a child is the hardest thing a person can endure, and it must be difficult to see it discussed by people who don't know the facts of what happened.

    There is much speculation about what caused Taylor's death right now. People are concerned about the safety of Diamond Ranch Academy and if their procedures played any role in his death. If you would like to give me more info, I can share it with the community and hopefully stop any misinformation. My email is


  4. Pixie,
    I appreciate the condolences and you are exactly right, the passing of a child is the most difficult event a parent can endure. The pain is felt every day... every time you look around the house or expect him in from school at 3:30...and knowing this is his senior year and I will not see my precious child walk across the stage at graduation as he prepares too enter the next milestone of his life. It isn't difficult to read the writings, it is sickening because you and whomever else is on this endeavor have no idea about the facts of probably any of the innocent children you are writing about.

    Do you track the number of teens that die each year while playing sports? Do you track the number of teens whose parents have given up on their child which leads the child to death due to drugs and/or alcohol? Do you track the number of teen suicides? Or, do you track the number of teen overdoses? Just in Tarrant County alone the numbers are disturbing.

    I will email but your post proves my point, that you and others don't have your facts straight; Taylor was not at Diamond Ranch and there isn't much speculation about his passing. I have the doctor's report as well as the state's investigation and I am fully aware of the massive BA that ruptured in Taylor's brain; there was no recovery - even if the hospital had been beside the school!

    Where is the post that while as parents we were devasted by the sudden loss of Taylor, we had the where-with-all to donate his organs so others could be saved? Or, the effort that has gone into raising awareness about Brain Aneurysm because while a small amount, they do occur in children.

    What community? Because what I have read thus far is not impressive because you and others didn't take the time to fully investigate the facts prior to writing; and writing about a child that is not your business. I want his name removed from this posting; show it is unknown if you are set on writing such information but again, you and others do not have the right to communicate anything about my son when you do not have the information correct.

    Taylor's Mom

  5. I agree that the local doctors and hospitals should increase their awareness regarding brain aneurysm. A young man aged 19 died from our town died some years back when he was playing badminton.

    His family has told me that he changed his behavior months before it happened. He became more agressive and less tolerant. They were concerned and visited their family doctor. The doctor believed that it was some kind of phase. Then he suddenly dropped to the floor during a match and it was too late to do something for him. It was properly the stress of the match which killed him.

    In another case a boy in a group home called "One Way Farm" was pushed. He continued his day but started to complain of head ache hours later. He was given some pills and then they continued their day. Suddenly he dropped death on the floor and now the boy who pushed him is awaiting trial. It is hardly fair.

    It is a tricky illness and I can only give your my condolences regarding your son.

  6. His name has been removed. I don't know who made the assumption that he was at Diamond Ranch Academy. The facility involved in this case is Liahona Academy outside Virgin. It was another boy who died at Diamond and the family ordered a second autopsy so the cause of the tragedy is not determined. We will respect the wishes of the family and remove their sons name entirely from this entry. The url will be fixed by our technical department.

    We are sorry if we offended anyone. Our only goal is to bring awareness to the fact that residential treatment in many cases has been proven more deadly that the original problem the residential treatment should address.

    1. Taylor's mom, I am very sorry for your loss.

      Authors and supporters of this blog,
      Why is the url not changed?? All of the misleading 'facts' in the article are ridiculous! Given the statements made in the article and by mother you should have deleted the entire article.

      You talk poorly about the people who make the hard decisions to send their precious and loved children to the treatment centers and schools. You should be ashamed of yourselves for the lies you are spreading about the innocent children, parents, and treatment centers/schools when you do not have the facts nor do you attempt to contact the friends and family of the deceased to get more information. There is no excuse for your poor choice in trying to glamorize Taylor's death in order to humiliate and misrepresent a Treatment center.

    2. I just saw this entry. To the owners of this blog: The only thing which tells me who he was is the comments. Maybe you should delete those.

      I support a similar blog in Denmark because children die in placement all the time. Right now a trial is ongoing related to the dragon boat accident where students were forced to sail out and had to survive subzero degrees in the waters under the command of a former sea officer working as a teacher. Several will have to live as disabled for the rest of their lives.

      We have decided to start a blog for Danes who have died in residential settings as well and I know that there are words of a blog about casulties in England and Canada also

  7. You should be ashamed of yourself! You don't know what you are talking about, on many points!

    My son was Taylor's roommate and will clearly remember that fateful night when his aneurysm burst. The distance from a hospital is immaterial. Taylor had immediate attention by a medical professional on staff but it was too late. Through my professional medical training as a Physician Assistant, I am cognizant of the fact that, short of being ON an operating table at the time that it blew, Taylor's aneurysm would have been fatal. How dare you question what happened!

    As to your opinion of schools such as Liahona, I am convinced that you have a jaundiced view. My son is a member of a FB page called Liahona Brothers, started by one of the boys who was there when my son was. The boys who have turned their lives around due to their time at Liahona do not look back in a negative manner. They realize that they made choices that had them on collision courses with disaster and that the lessons learned at Liahona made all the difference. Many of the boys have friended staff members from Liahona on their Facebooks. Some boys have gone back to visit after graduation.

    On the 2 year anniversary of when my son left home to go to Liahona, he posted on his FB that sometimes going through hard things makes people stronger and wakes them up to a reality check that ultimately improves them. He wouldn't want to go back to Liahona but would actually like working in a school like that to help other young men. My son was on a track that would have resulted in him not graduating high school. He spent his Junior year at Liahona, got caught up on his credits to meet Michigan graduation requirements and did well! He pulled his GPA up, scored 32 on his ACT, successfully completed his senior year at home and is on scholarship now to Utah State University.

    I am quite taken aback by the claims and statements in your posting. You do not have all the facts and yet posted in what seemed an authoritative manner. It might be well for you to look up the definition of libel.

    Until you have walked in the shoes of a parent who finds themselves up against the wall with a beloved child who has made too many wrong choices, you will never understand the heartache and pain that we have experienced. Sending my son to Liahona was the right choice. Dana's choice to send Taylor was the right choice. Perhaps you should look at his memorial website and read his letters home. Have you done that? Have you read the letter sent the day before his aneurysm blew? Have you read the quote which he chose to share with his peers the very day he died? It is almost prophetic: "What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others is immortal and lives on." ~ Robert Pine

    So what are you doing for others?

    1. MaurrenB,
      As far as the topic with Taylor, it was very sad what happened and is heartbreaking to this day. I was a student at Liahona and I witnessed what happened to Taylor first hand, to this day I always remember the incident and how precious life is. Taylor was a great person and those who knew him had nothing but positive things to say.
      However, to what you are saying about Liahona Academy and your sons “success” is your experience are subjective the program. What are the statistics of adolescent’s success after the program? What do you define as success? How many successful students had previous behavior of drug/ alcohol abuse? What were these successful students’ behavioral problems? What kind of psychological disorders were these successful students diagnosed with? What are these successful students environments like at home? How are they continuing their therapy or methods outside the program to help their success? If you are going to talk about how great of a place Liahona is there is more the picture I suggest you look at here. How about the families who had to take loans out, go bankrupt, loose there homes, sell values, belongings and put every bit of trust into Liahona Academy and it so called effort to change lives and they have sons who are dead, incarcerated in prison, deeper into drugs, alcohol and other behavior problems. How do you think these families feel? I’m glad for your son’s success you must be proud, but unfortunately there are many families that don’t have the kid you have and are struggling in every way possible. I personally don’t have the statistics but I could name many past families and students who are going through this, but I will keep their names anonymous out of respect; now for my subjective questions. How do you think they feel? You talk about empathy and walking in someone else’s shoes what do you think its like? How do you think these families are they holding up after not only finance lost but also families lost?

    2. Continuing Post........

      This is the dark side of Liahona, which is covered up and avoided and not talked about. They don’t mention to families the likely hood and risks of their programs in this manner. You must see you are fortunate for your family and situation, because it is rare. There are many families who have different satiations I met kids that were at Liahona for stealing Pokémon cards, I also met kids that had heavy drug use. The fact is they give every student the same behavior modification and same cognitive therapy. Individualism is very important in therapy. Just because a therapist can smooth talk a parent, have an adolescent memorize complete treatment tools does not mean success is guaranteed. Did you know that cognitive therapy is actually one of the least effective methods and it is still used at Liahona even thou there are many other effective therapy methods that could be used and aren’t. I thought Liahona was all about change, if the program cant change themselves how can they expect to help change others?
      What does Liahona do to change their success rate for future student in therapy, program, school and life skills?
      Have you done your research on the therapists working at Liahona Academy, and they’re past experience?
      If you haven’t I suggest you look into it, and see the past experiences these therapists have with former WWASP programs. Have you done research on a WWASP program?? If not, I suggest you should do that as well, and possibly question if these therapists carry the same methods at Liahona they used in these unsuccessful and corrupt programs like WWASP.
      You should understand here that you cannot take away the freedom of speech of the Internet; and that the people running this blog are questioning what happened. They are not attacking Taylor or his family. I see it from both sides, that they are trying to put the pieces together because what kind of publicity will it attract when the word is out a student died in a program like Liahona. In a situation like that in any state or place I hope there would be questions. I also see it from the parent’s side and the privacy they would ask for after a situation like this. After everything I will leave you with a quote.
      “There are no ones views who aren’t subject to question.”-Lawrence Krauss

      P.S. Sorry for my grammar errors it will only allow so many words

  8. I just would say that I find it as such a terrible to lose a son just when his life as an adult was about to start.

    Regarding such kind of schools I have a few comments. Years ago I found myself in a position where my son had difficulty adjusting to the teenage life in high school. In any responsible high schools here the students can attend a Friday bar where they can drink a beer or a glass of wine. In a time where 9/11 has brought the threat of terrorism into our own streets, it is difficult for us to locate the heathens who don't drink because they are the one who are willing to blow themselves and our children up. My son wasn't that mature and started to hang out with kids who were shunned by the other teens due to their non-Danish behavior.

    I did sent my son to a boarding school back in 2007 as part of a plea deal with the social services to avoid police involvement. It was to this day the hardest decision I had to do as a parent. Every single day was torment for both him and me. Luckily I got him home alive. I had to smuggled tobacco and beers over to his school. He is doing well today and working in a firm. I will not credit his stay at the school for his progress. In fact it only worsened his behavior. I will credit his high school in my town for the turnabout which had a good mentor arrangement where older students help younger how to socialize the historically correct way.

  9. I was at DRA for 7 months and it is abuse and they don't tell you the truth about it. And of course the letters were "happy" they don't let you send anything out that said otherwise.


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