Skip to site content

Child in Faith-healing Case Continues to Improve

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.