In a Moment explores a California family’s tragic entanglement with a corrupted system: the severity of medical errors in the United States Healthcare System, the faulty investigation practices of Child Protective Services and the egregious misuse of the diagnosis they call Shaken Baby Syndrome.
In 2010 Kristian Aspelin was carrying his three-month-old son, Johan, when he slipped and fell. Johan’s head slammed against the tile floor. Kristian called 911 and Johan was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital. Over the next several hours doctors and nurses made careless medical errors that resulted in Johan’s right lung to collapse, a near overdose of respiratory medication and hours of a dislodged breathing tube. These errors deprived oxygen to Johan’s brain placing him in a vegetative state.
Behind closed doors, Dr. Chris Stewart reviewed Johan’s chart and was convinced that he had been violently shaken. Kristian was arrested in connection with Johan’s death and accused of child abuse in the form of “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” Dr. Stewart never physically examined Johan.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services reports that referrals to state child protective services involved 6.6 million children and 3.2 million of those children were subject to an investigated report. What do you think when you read those statistics? Most people gravitate to the terrible abuse that those children have endured and that the abuser should be punished. And that is certainly a natural and justified response. What else do you see buried in this statistic? Come along with us as we share the Aspelin family’s story and uncover the truths of what really happened to Johan Aspelin.
Meet The Filmmakers
Co-Director, Director of Photography
How can YOU help?
When we were approached about making a documentary about the Aspelins, there was never a question about whether we'd do it or not; this is a story that HAS to be told, heard and learned from. We've just passed our fourth anniversary of the first day of shooting, there's a lot of work left and it turns out that making a documentary is expensive! We've been in the industry a few years, so when we took on this project, we knew that it would be expensive, but the more research we do, the more we film, the more people we meet, the more we find out that this isn't just about the Aspelins. This is a global story and we stand to make an impact, change the way shaken baby syndrome is viewed and hopefully help keep innocent people out of jail. If you'd like to help get this film made, we'd love to talk with you. Feel free to give us a call, send us a message or go ahead and click on the DONATE button below. With your help, the completion of this film is possible! Thank you for your continued support.
In a Moment is a fiscally sponsored project of the
International Documentary Association (IDA), 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization.
Contributions in support of In a Moment: The Johan Aspelin Story are payable to IDA and are tax deductible as allowed by law.
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