"I do not know a better mother than Lindsay Clancy. She lived and breathed for her children," said nurse Erika Sevieri.
"I could have been Lindsay. Anyone of us could have been," nurse Susan Davison wrote.
"We are all in shock," said nurse Mary Pomerleau.
From vouching for her character to slamming her list of medications, telling their own stories of postpartum struggles and putting forth alternative theories, dozens of letters from friends and strangers in support of Lindsay Clancy were unsealed in court this week.
The letters requested by The Patriot Ledger, all sent to her defense attorney Kevin Reddington, come from as far away as the United Kingdom and all have a single thing in common: They say Lindsay Clancy cannot be held responsible for the death of her three children in Duxbury.
"I am heartbroken that this beautiful young woman, her loving husband and their precious children have been destroyed because they were not provided with the essential medical care that they deserved," Quincy nurse Stacey Kabat wrote in her letter. "Please know that if Lindsay had proper treatment, this family would still be together."
Clancy, 32, was arraigned in Plymouth District Court on Tuesday on charges of murder, strangulation and assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Prosecutors say she used exercise bands to strangle her three children, all under the age of 6, in the basement of their Summer Street home Jan. 24 before trying to kill herself.
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This week's court hearing revealed the circumstances surrounding the children's deaths, and launched the start of a defense strategy focused on a lack of proper medical care, overmedication and the extreme harm caused by conditions like postpartum depression and psychosis.
Reddington, the defense lawyer, said Lindsay Clancy's case is a prime example of a country that routinely fails women seeking treatment for postpartum depression, anxiety or psychosis. He said Clancy was under the care of medical professionals who prescribed her a cocktail of medications that harmed her mental well-being. He described a woman "unable" to feel genuine emotion due to the drugs.
"Our society fails miserably in treating women with postpartum depression or even postpartum psychosis," Reddington said. "It's medicate, medicate, medicate, take the pills and see if that works. If it doesn't, increase the dose."
Several doctors and strangers with medical experience wrote to Reddington to suggest Lindsay was suffering from akathisia, a term used to describe the extreme effects of certain antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs. Others said the list of drugs she was taking − which included Prozac, Zoloft, trazodone, Valium and Klonopin − should have never been prescribed.
"Every time I think about this case, I sit in amazement, on the brink of tears, considering the magnitude of the tragedy that occurred," Dr. David Benjamin, a clinical pharmacologist and forensic toxicologist, wrote. "Lay people think that if a physician prescribed the medications, that they cannot be hurt by the drugs. Nothing could be further from the truth."
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Only two of the 39 letters submitted by Reddington to the court were not in direct support of Lindsay. One asked if the letters would be made public, and another suggested Patrick Clancy, the children's father, be looked at as a suspect. Prosecutors on Tuesday said Clancy was shopping at CVS and picking up to-go food at the request of his wife when the children were killed.
Almost half of the letters came from Massachusetts General Hospital colleagues of Lindsay. They described the labor and delivery nurse as a devoted caretaker, wife and mother. Many of the writers referenced sending the letters at the request of Patrick Clancy.
"She is such a kind and caring human being," Davison, a former co-worker, wrote. "Lindsay put her gentle heart and compassion into everything she did. ... I could go on and on about the wonderful kind human being she is, and how my heart is broken for her. I only hope and pray she gets the mental help that she so needs."
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Reach Mary Whitfill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Unsealed court documents reveal widespread support of Lindsay Clancy