Injured Father Wants Children Back

An Omaha man hospitalized in a crash that killed his wife is now trying to get his three daughters back.

Harry Stanley: "I'd like to see them more than anything."
Reporter: "You haven't seen them?"
Harry: "No - not at all."

Harry Stanley's three daughters call Mississippi home now. Since January, they've been with his biological mom -- a woman who -- he says -- has been out of his life until recently.

The woman who raised Harry and lives in Des Moines -- Linda Stanley -- wonders why she didn't get the children and faces roadblocks every time she calls Mississippi. "We haven't been able to speak with the kids. They're always busy or gone."

Harry's wife, Jessica, died in a crash at 45th & Hamilton on January 27. He broke his neck and had bleeding on the brain. "Everyday of my life I think of her. I will for the rest of my life. We were best friends for years."

The two families have been struggling for more than three months to understand why the three girls went to Mississippi instead of Iowa without any sort of court hearing.

"It's ridiculous," said Steve Sovia, Jessica's father. "We don't need this."

On Wednesday, the families saw a judge for the first time; not to determine custody -- but to argue over who gets to make decisions for Harry Stanley. And it's not any of them.

"They wanted nothing to do with the children," said Joyce Stevens, who is temporary guardian of Harry, as she described the hours after the crash. She's been working with him since the crash. She wants the courts to permanently allow her to be his guardian.

Stevens says Mississippi is the best place for the girls. "The kids are down south…in school and behind in school and in counseling…because they are having lots of adjustment problems."

Harry Stanley says he can make his own decisions.

Reporter: "Do you want your kids back?"
Harry: "Yes…I love them."
Reporter: "Are you in shape to take care of them?"
Harry: "Physically I’d need some help. But mentally – yeah definitely.

The family will be back in court in a couple of weeks to decide if Harry Stanley can make his own decisions or if he needs help. Only then -- will we see what happens to the girls.


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