Justina Pelletier, the Connecticut teen who has been held in state custody for over a year because her doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital disagreed with a prior diagnosis, allegedly wrote a heartbreaking letter to her parents describing the situation she’s been dealing with.
Pelletier, 15, was brought to Boston Children’s by her parents after she was experiencing debilitating physical symptoms that had doctors struggling to treat. Past doctors had already diagnosed the teen with mitochondrial disease a few years ago, but doctors at Boston Children’s decided that the symptoms were all psychological, and they went so far as to accuse her parents of child abuse. Doctors said they believed that Linda and Lou Pelletier were making Pelletier believe she had symptoms that she didn’t actually have, so they were able to convince the state to take custody of the teen. That was over a year ago.
Since then, Linda and Lou have only been allowed to have one-hour supervised visits with their daughter once a week, and they’ve ben relentlessly fighting to regain custody ever since.
The note, which was reportedly written by Pelletier to her parents, outlines the troubling environment that the teen is currently living in at a facility set up by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
“They hurt me all the time push me all the time and more,” the note says. “They do not let me sleep vary [sic] much. Hury [sic]!”
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, spokesperson for the Pelletier family, explained in a statement why they decided to publicize the letter.
“This shocking note reveals for the first time, in Justina’s own words, how she is being abused by Massachusetts DCF,” said Mahoney in the statement. “The Pelletiers are devastated to see how their daughter is being mistreated while under the custody of the State of Massachusetts. Justina’s own words paint a picture of mistreatment by DCF that we can see for ourselves. Fourteen months ago, when she was removed from her home, she was taking part in ice-skating competitions and living an active life. Under the care of DCF, she is in now a wheelchair and can barely walk. She has not been allowed to attend church, and has not been given her individualized education program which is required by federal law.”
Lawyers for the Pelletier family filed another appeal last week to the Supreme Judicial Court in an attempt to regain custody of their daughter after over a year.
“This case comes down to the simple fact that new doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital, who had no experience with Justina, came up with a different diagnosis than her expert treating physicians at Tufts Medical Center,” said Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, in a statement. “The state cannot take children from their parents when the parents make reasonable choices for their medical care. This case is outrageous.”
The Department of Children and Families have yet to comment on the note.
A homeless man in Brazil was randomly attacked on the street, and eight days after being admitted for treatment, he was reunited with his beloved dog who patiently waited outside the hospital the entire time.
Lauri da Costa was brutally smashed in the face with a rock in what can only be explained as a random act of cruelty. Costa walked miles to the hospital with a bloodied face in order to be treated for his injuries, but to make matters worse, he was told after being tested that he had melanoma and needed cancer treatment.
As Costa spent eight days being treated for skin cancer, his faithful dog Seco waited in the hospital parking lot for his owner to be released. During the week of waiting, hospital staff provided food and water for the dog so that it wouldn’t starve.
Finally, after over a week, Costa and Seco were reunited. The hospital staff set up the reunion in the building’s courtyard, and the emotional reunion was captured on video. Check out this awesome reunion below.
A 17-year-old boy in Dublin, Ireland is in a coma after a classmate attempted a strange prank that wound up going haywire.
The student was put into a medically induced coma because he reportedly suffered a heart attack after a friend thought it would be funny to squeeze his testicles. The unnamed 17-year-old was walking back to St David’s CBS with his friends when they started goofing around with each other.
When the boy passed out, a schoolteacher, along with another student, attempted to perform CPR while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Dublin police are currently investigating the incident. The boy’s family says he is in stable condition but has not woken up from the coma yet. They don’t believe that the other student was attempting to do any harm, and as of right now, it appears that the student will not face any charges.
Pennsylvania man James Valentine was rushed to a Pittsburgh hospital after a chainsaw blade was embedded in his neck on Monday afternoon.
Valentine, a professional tree trimmer, was trimming a tree in Ross Township when the accident happened. His coworkers quickly helped him down from the tree and made sure the blade remained in place to prevent profuse bleeding.
A doctor arrived on the scene to stabilize Valentine, who was then helped into an ambulance.
The 21-year-old was then taken to Allegheny General Hospital where an x-ray was taken of his neck; the x-ray showed that the blade had missed major arteries and had only cut through muscle.
Adler Tree Service owner and Valentine’s employer Dominic Migliozzi called the rescue “amazing”.
Valentine has since been released from surgery.
Brand new parents Aliea Bidwell and Ben Gray claim that a doctor blackmailed them after they refused to vaccinate their baby, and when they believed they were faced with no other option, they finally gave into the doctor’s demands.
Bidwell and Gray gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Aaron at 9:26 a.m. on March 14. Prior to being admitted, Bidwell informed the nurses that she didn’t want her child to receive newborn vaccines. None of the hospital staff initially had any problems with her request because in the state of Alabama, it is completely legal for a parent to refuse a vaccine for their child.
Hours after the baby was born, however, Dr. Terry M. Bierd entered Bidwell’s hospital room to inform them that they had no choice but to allow her to give Aaron a Hepatitis B vaccination. Bidwell and Gray refused, but Dr. Bierd kep insisting. She told the new parents that if they didn’t give her permission to vaccinate the baby, she would call security and Alabama’s Child Protective Services to have them take the child away, but not before she administered the vaccine.
Bidwell and Gray told the doctor that they refused the vaccine for religious and personal reasons, but she didn’t want to hear it. For hours, Dr. Bierd kept coming into the room to threaten action even more. She explained to them that since a blood test was never performed on Bidwell when she entered the hospital, there was no way of knowing if she had Hepatitis B and could possibly give it to her baby. Bidwell and Gray pleaded with the doctor not to take their child away, but she kept telling them that in the eyes of the law, the doctor’s recommendation overrides the parent’s wishes. Unbeknownst to Bidwell and Gray, that is not true.
In the end, after hours of continued threats, the new parents decided to give into the blackmail. Aaron was vaccinated at not even a day old, and now, the distraught parents are hoping to tell their story so that this situation doesn’t happen to other new parents. Unfortunately, other parents have reported that similar situations have happened with Dr. Bierd, and as The Inquisitr points out, this type of doctor blackmail has happened before and continues to go on to this day.
Romanian man Radu Calinescu went to the ER after complaining of intense stomach pain, only to find out that the fork he had swallowed in a drunken bet was the cause of his irritation.
“I had been drinking and I bet with my friend that I could swallow the fork without getting hurt,” Calinescu said.
Annoyed doctors told Calinescu that the fork wouldn’t damage his vital organs or cut his airway, but that he should return in a few days to see if the utensil passed through his body.
If the fork reaches Calinescu’s stomach and looks as though it might pierce the lining, he could require surgery.
“I realize now it was a very stupid thing to do,” Calinescu said. “I don’t think I will be taking part in any bets for a while.”
California teenager Mateus Moore died after he was hit by an oncoming train while trying to save his girlfriend’s life.
Moore and his girlfriend, Mickayla Friend, were heading to a dance at their high school when they walked toward a store on the train tracks. A train approached traveling in the same direction, blowing its horn and pulling the emergency breaks, but they were unable to move out of the way.
At the last minute, Moore pushed Friend off the tracks. He was instantly killed, and Friend is currently in the hospital in critical condition.
“They both looked back at the same time," witness Sean Stark said. "They would have both been underneath that train if he didn't push her out of the way at the last second."
Aliytha Friend, Mickayla's sister, said it was shocking to have just dropped off the couple and then receive a call that one was dead and the other in critical condition.
A group of California teenagers were hailed as heroes after they rescued a 94-year-old woman from her burning home.
The California High School seniors were skipping class around 10 a.m. on Monday to get something to eat when they saw smoke. When they drove up to the burning house, they saw Dianna Davis outside the garage yelling for help.
Davis was trying to unravel the water hose and cried out that her elderly mother was stuck in the house.
“We both had the same instinct,” Peter Kravariotis, one of the boys, said. “Just go in the house, so we did.”
The boys managed to guide the woman out of the house along with her dog, though the woman is currently in critical condition.
“(I am) exceptionally proud of the three young men who would reach out and do something like that,” California High School Principal Mark Corti said,” because they could’ve easily kept walking.”
The elderly woman was taken to a burn center in San Francisco where she is currently receiving treatment.
Mississippi man Walter Williams died Thursday, after being pronounced dead and coming back to life only two weeks ago.
“I think he’s gone this time,” Williams’ nephew, Eddie Hester, said.
The 78-year-old was first pronounced dead two weeks ago by Holmes County coroner Dexter Howard on February 26. After completing his paperwork, Howard placed Williams in a body bag and sent him to the funeral home. Once Williams was in the embalming room, his leg began to twitch.
“We noticed his legs beginning to move, like kicking," Howard said. "He also began to do a little breathing."
An ambulance was called and Williams was hooked up to a monitor, which registered a heartbeat. He was taken to Holmes County Hospital and Clinics and released after a few days.
Williams died officially around 4:15 a.m. on Thursday morning.
Hester noted that the past two weeks had been a miracle for him and his family, and that they had enjoyed every minute of it.
Linda Carswell has spent nearly ten years battling with a Texas hospital to have part of her deceased husband’s heart returned to her for burial with his remains.
The portion of the heart was returned to her, finally, but she has reason to believe it is actually from an animal, reports the Daily Mail.
Jerry Carswell died unexpectedly after being treated for kidney stones in 2004. A piece of his heart was removed and kept by the hospital without the family’s permission during the autopsy, that proved inconclusive.
Finally having the heart returned to her for burial should have been a relief for Linda.
Instead, she says it has become a “beyond belief” situation, reports Philly.com.
Not trusting the hospital, Linda had the heart tested by NMS Labs, a forensic laboratory in Pennsylvania.
They could find no trace of human DNA.
The missing DNA could be a result of how the heart was preserved, according to a biologist. Or a “real possibility that the heart submitted was not human.”
Linda fears burying the heart with her husband as it could “desecrate the grave.”
“The hospitals and their pathologists continuously have represented to the courts and to us that it was Jerry's heart, that it was properly preserved, and that DNA testing would confirm it was his heart,” Linda said.
Neil McCabe, the family’s attorney, said they had approached the court to ask for depositions of relevant representatives of the hospitals and pathologists. They were seeking answers about why the heart they claim to be Larry’s was devoid of human DNA.
“Whether or not our inquiries will lead to further legal action must await the court's decision on our request for depositions and what those depositions reveal," McCabe said.
Erin Lunceford, an attorney for St. Joseph medical center, where the autopsy was performed, said she did not know why the heart had no human DNA.