An Australian mother was jailed for giving cancer medication to her young daughter in a desperate attempt for attention.
The 23-year-old mother of two, who is unidentified in the media for legal reasons, gave her 4-year-old daughter chemotherapy drugs she bought online. She fed the drugs to the little girl from June 2012 through April 2013.
Throughout the incident, the young mother allegedly was excited to see the number of Facebook followers increase as she documented her daughter’s ordeal.
“Yay, we hit the 600 mark!!’’ the mother wrote in December 2012, according to the Courier Mail. “New years resolution, 1000 … can we do it?’’
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She ultimately gained more than 8,000 followers and $500 in donations from her social media supporters.
The drugs caused her daughter, now aged 7, to suffer nosebleeds, burst capillaries, red rashes throughout her face and upper body, and lift-threatening bone marrow failure.
In April 2013, the mother was allegedly told that the child would die without a bone marrow transplant.
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“I am very emotional right now, seeing the kids in here breaks my heart, some have been in here for months and will be in here much longer … we will be one of those families soon,” the mother wrote on Facebook.
On April 13, 2013, the woman was arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm. She is unlikely to regain custody of her two children.
Defense attorney Catherine Morgan stated that the woman had a rare mental disorder called factitious disorder by proxy, in which someone creates or exaggerates symptoms of someone. The mother also previously lied about symptoms she was experiencing to undergo appendicitis on her healthy appendix.
“Hate isn’t going to make her better,” said the child’s grandfather to the mother’s angry Facebook followers.
During the sentencing, Judge Anthony Rafter said the mother’s behavior was “incomprehensible.”
"You caused your daughter severe suffering and a life-threatening illness, she was required to undergo evasive medical procedures."
After the arrest, the child’s health improved quickly.
The mother was sentenced to a maximum of six years, according to the Brisbane Times.