"The children... would come home with breathing difficulties... I asked Zachary why he didn't stay away from food that he was allergic to at his dads & he said 'because he hits me if I don't eat. I told him I couldn't eat sausage... he was going to hit me!" ~Terry Dunham
“I was present on numerous occasions when the children returned home having difficulty breathing. They stated that Mark made them eat something they were allergic to, usually sausage, and that he refused to give them their medicines. Their symptoms ranged from them complaining of their chest being tight to severe wheezing that I was able to hear myself. There is absolutely no doubt that both Mark and Rena Collins were aware that the children were in asthmatic attacks. The symptoms were undeniable evident. I will admit that on several of these incidents, I was quite nervous and uncomfortable. I questions Holly-Ann if they should go to the emergency room immediately. Holly-Ann said that it wasn’t necessary at tat time, because she had the same nebulization machine that the hospital had, and that it was very important to get he children to relax. Sometimes their symptoms would be alleviated immediately by using their little blue “puffer” as the children called them. Other times they required 1-2, and on one occasions Zachary required 3 treatments from that nebulizer machine.” ~ Wade Solberg
07/15/91 Doctor David Estrin, pediatrician, letter to child Protection:
“The Collins children were seen in my office today and their mother reports that Jennifer had an allergic reaction (consisting of wheezing) to sausage that was given to her by her father [Mark Collins]… When Zachary returned to his mother’s house… he complained of difficulty swallowing. He was treated with the nebulizations at home and brought to the emergency room where he required further nebulizations and was started on prednisone for allergic reaction …. Please investigate the circumstances surround the children being given those foods and why they were placed at risk.”
07/16/91: Doctor Paul Blum, pediatric allergist, letter to Referee Dorn:
“I have described both children as being among the most allergic I have ever seen in my 13 years of allergy practice. They have multiple significant food allergies, allergic rhinitis and moderate to severe reactive airway disease. Of these problems the food allergies clearly have the potential to be life threatening… While Zachary and Jennifer are on visits at their father’s home, food experimentation with foods that these children clearly react to is still being undertaken… I can not emphasize strongly enough my displeasure and disgust with the current situation. I think that this sort of experimentation is potentially life threatening to both children and can only result in further harm to their well being.”
07/29/1992 Doctor Estrin & Doctor Blum to Child Protection:
"In spite of the requirement for previous visition with Mark to be supervised, that in fact, it has not een supervised and there have been instances where they'ver been left alone with their father. I have referred this family to the Family Intervention Program at tMinneapolise Children's Medical Center for follow up." (This was forbidden by the judge.) "Addendum: I have spoken with Paul Blum, M.D. He understand taht I am sending you this letter and it shall serve as a report for both of us as possible abuse."
11/17/1992 Dr. Blum to Holly Collins:
In response to your request, it is completely inconceivable that anybody at this point could possibly believe that the children have purely dermatographism, after reviewing the skin test results both from our offices and Tuft’s New England Medical Center.
As I am sure you are aware, and any reasonably educated person can see from skin test records, there are internal controls applied during skin testing that make it impossible to consider the diagnosis of dermatographism when the testing is properly done. Holly, there are positive and negative controls that are done during skin testing to rule out this possibility, and therefore, this entity is not to be seriously entertained.
If Family Court persists in this delusion and insists that the children be exposed to food that they are severely skin test and /or RAST test positive to, then a potential catastrophe will result. You can be assured that I will see to it that their failure in this regard does not go unpublicized.
In reply to your questions about RAST testing, the literature is quite clear that RAST test results may become less positive over time, once there has been no exposure for a significant length of time.
I hope the above information is of use to you your ongoing efforts on the children’s behalf.
Kindest personal regards,
Paul M. Blum, MD."
Judge Michael Davis abused his authority by issuing a subpoena for Dr. Blum. He had Dr. Blum removed from his office, in front of his patients, during the day and held him in contempt of court until he was forced to apologized to the court.
01/11/1993 Doctor Paul Blum To Family Court
RE: Zachary and Jennifer Collins
To Whom it May Concern:
"Jennifer and Zachary Collins have been patients of this office over the last several years and I am now told by Mrs. Collins that there is a question as to whether these children have been the victims of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. I have examined both of these children and have seen real physical findings consistent with the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis and asthma. I have heard frank wheezing in Zachary and have seen evidence for sinusitis on the x-ray as well. Skin testing with adequate controls was performed on both children and the fact that they are skin test positive is incontrovertible. Skin testes were also performed by the Tufts New England medical Center and largely the same results were obtained there as well.
In my mind, there is no question that both children are allergic and that the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis and asthma is well established. There is also a suggestion largely by history, but I believe reliable, that both children have had extensive food allergies. Their current status is that their food allergies continue to play less and less of a role as time passes and this is also consistent of the natural history of food allergy. I would also state that the level of difficulty that they have experienced with both allergic rhinitis and asthma has also decreased markedly with the passage of time. Part of this is due to the fact that they have been extensively medicated and appropriately medicated for these problems, and they have had less of an inflammatory buildup and fewer chronic problems. Part of this is also due to the fact that both children are now probably in a phase where they are largely outgrowing some of their initial infection triggered problems.
If I had to guess as to their future course, I would suspect that both Zachary and Jennifer over time will be able to ingest and eat virtually any food without difficulty. In addition their allergic rhinitis should be a little more than a petty annoyance in the future and I would also think that their asthma will be well controlled, probably with less medication than they currently are taking. This should not be construed as stating that these children have not had problems in the past, but rather that appropriate medical therapy at the mother’s initiative has been given to them in the past and that they are currently in a phase where many children outgrow a number of their initial allergy and asthma triggers.
I hope the above information will be of use to you. Kindest personal regards.
Paul M. Blum, M. D.
04/16/93 Doctor Estrin to Family Court
"To Whom It May Concern:
I have known the older Collins children as their pediatrician for a number of years and have recently gotten to know the latest member of the family, Christopher. From all of my contacts with the chilren and their mother, I have seen no evidence for Munchausen syndrome by proxy. I do not feel that Holly Ann's children are at any risk at all when under her unsupervised care."
David L. Estrin M.D.