Mother kept her healthy girl, 12, in a wheelchair for EIGHT YEARS after persuading doctors she suffered from fits
- Girl, now 12, spent nearly eight years having unnecessary medical treatment
- High Court judge found the girl suffered ‘significant harm’ as a result of it
- Mother lied about her daughter having fits and an inability to eat and drink
A mother persuaded doctors her healthy daughter was disabled and needed a wheelchair, artificial feeding and drugs to prevent epileptic fits, it was revealed yesterday.
The girl, now 12, spent nearly eight years unnecessarily undergoing ‘excessive’ medical treatment and going to school in the wheelchair.
A High Court judge found her treatment for fictitious ailments went on so long because the mother repeatedly gave false stories about fits and an inability to eat and drink to doctors.
Mrs Justice Judd ruled that the girl suffered ‘significant harm’ as a result of her mother’s ‘exaggeration of her behaviours and symptoms’.
A mother persuaded doctors her healthy daughter was disabled and needed a wheelchair, artificial feeding and drugs to prevent epileptic fits, it was revealed yesterday. Stock picture
The judge examined evidence at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London in October and published her conclusions online. Council bosses had argued that the woman had given medics ‘an exaggerated or wrong account’ of the girl’s health and behaviour.
They said the woman had ‘perpetuated the notion’ the girl had ‘uncontrolled epilepsy and autism’ plus other diseases.
The woman denied the allegations, but Mrs Justice Judd ruled against her. The family cannot be named for legal reasons and the judge has not identified the council involved.
Mrs Justice Judd said: ‘With so many medical and other professionals involved in her life, the mother’s repetition of inaccurate information from one to the other had a snowball effect. I cannot say at this point what was driving the mother to portray her child as having so many problems.’
The court was told the girl – who had two siblings brought up without problems – suffered fits from 18 months old. Mrs Justice Judd said from 2012 onwards the mother began to exaggerate and invent symptoms.
The girl, now 12, spent nearly eight years unnecessarily undergoing ‘excessive’ medical treatment and going to school in the wheelchair. Stock picture
She added: ‘During the course of 2013 the mother reported wide-ranging problems with her daughter, including repeated seizures, nosebleeds, bowel and bladder problems, excessive sleepiness and some wobbliness meaning she could not walk long distances. The girl was provided with a wheelchair later in the year.’
Medication was increased and in 2017 the girl was put on a special diet and fitted with a tube for artificial feeding.
However, the judge said that after the girl became distressed during an appointment to replace the tube in early 2018 ‘concerns were beginning to be raised about the mother and whether she was over-medicalising her daughter’.
The girl was found to be healthy after social workers took her from her mother in October 2019. The judge said: ‘It became rapidly clear that she is very much a normal child… She is physically quite normal and energetic.’ She added: ‘The contrast to the girl that the mother described to all the professionals from 2012 onwards is enormous.’
The girl was moved to live with relatives months ago.
Mrs Justice Judd said the mother, who went through a difficult divorce while her daughter was being wrongly treated, may in future get a second chance to bring her up if she accepts she is healthy.
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