"I love my daughter more than anything and that is why I am fighting this battle," Dr. Theresa Greene, who temporarily lost custody of her daughter for her work caring for Coronavirus patients in an emergency room, told PEOPLE. Dr. Greene, who works at a Miami hospital, doesn't know when she will be able to see her 4-year-old daughter again in person. While talking to her daughter on FaceTime last Friday, she said to the girl, "I hope you can come home soon." The little girl does not understand why she is now living with her father Eric Greene,the doctor's ex-husband, who was given temporary custody of the girl by a court in Miami. The father argued in court that Theresa is unnecessarily exposing the girl to Covid-19 for her work with patients who have this virus.
About four days have passed since that conversation with her daughter and the doctor fears that the little girl thinks that she has abandoned her. "I am afraid that she is going to think that I abandoned her," says the doctor to PEOPLE. "That is very difficult for me." The doctor's lawyer, Steven Nullman told PEOPLE that it is false that Theresa is going to expose the girl to the virus just for working in the hospital. The lawyer explains that the girl stayed with the father when she was working in the hospital and was only with the mother when the doctor had days off and was not seeing infected patients.
The doctor assures that she uses all the precautions at work and comes home to wash all her clothes and bathe before entering. "I am very paranoid and I am very careful," she said. "If I touch the lock on the door then I miss Lysol." Although the couple had been divorced for two years and had joint custody of the girl, the father was now awarded full custody of their daughter until further notice.
According to the order of Judge Bernard Shapiro, obtained by PEOPLE, the suspension of the time that the mother can share with the girl "is related only to the Covid-19 pandemic" and can communicate with the girl daily by Skype, FaceTime or telephone. The document adds that this decision has been taken temporarily to protect the health of the minor.
Since we don't know how long this pandemic will last, the doctor doesn't know when she will be able to see her daughter in person again. "Most of my colleagues have children with whom they live at home," says the mother. "No one is calling the Department of Child Protection and saying, 'You are exposing your child to a lethal disease.'"
The doctor hopes that this legal situation will be resolved and can be reunited with her little girl. "I have to fight against what I think is an injustice," concludes Theresa Greene, who says that married doctors do not take custody of their children and their case is unjustified.