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Child In Faith-Healing Case Continues To Improve

Faith Healing Oregon

First Posted: 02/14/11 10:21 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:30 PM ET

By Steve Mayes
Religion News Service

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) A 13-month-old child who faced blindness in one eye after her parents treated her with prayer instead of seeking medical care continues to improve, a state caseworker told a juvenile court.

Doctors treating Alayna Wyland said a growth over the girl's left eye continues to shrink. Her vision is now 20/360, and surgery will not be needed, they said.

The Oregon Department of Human Services has had custody of the girl since July after learning she had a massive, untreated hemangioma -- an abnormal buildup of blood vessels -- growing over her left eye. Her parents, Timothy and Rebecca Wyland, belong to the Followers of Christ,
an Oregon City church that practices faith healing.

A DHS caseworker and a court-appointed special advocate said Thursday (Feb. 10) the Wylands have fully complied with a court order to provide proper medical care. Circuit Judge Douglas S. Van Dyk then agreed to drop a requirement for video verification the girl was receiving medication.

"They've earned a certain amount of trust," Van Dyk said.

The Wylands are charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment in their daughter's care. Their trial begins May 19.

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Filed by Josh Fleet  |