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.