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Old 10-02-2006, 05:28 PM #1
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Default horrified and heartbroken after watching the evening news...

Sorry, I really don't know where to post this. I am shocked and horrified after watching a clip on the evening news where a woman in my area has seriously abused a little boy. OMG I am sobbing as I am writing. She is being charged with starving a 12 yr old boy with CP who is wheelchair-bound. Apparently, he was some 22lbs underweight and had been bitten by rats. Rats!

I just can't imagine how awful that must be for him. And it makes me so angry! What is wrong with people that they can be so incompassionate? Abuse of any sort is intolerable, but this is just appalling.

Thanks for letting me vent/share.

>>moved ths from the CP forum, that's not where this belongs. It belongs here where other people can send their positive thoughts towards the little boy who is now safe and getting care in the hospital, and towards the other children who were also removed from this woman's care.
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:12 PM #2
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(((elle)))
I know exactrly how you are feeling because nothing gets to me more than when a child is mistreated in any way

I will be praying for the precious little one, and for the other children too
I only hope the emotional scars will heal with time and loving care.
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:52 PM #3
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Old 10-02-2006, 07:59 PM #4
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What I am about to write in no way condones what happened to that child and the other children in her care. As a caregiver though, I am not overly surprised. I will bet that she is from a lower income group, not highly educated, and has no support structure. No mention is made of the husband/boyfriend that fathered the children. Where are the reports of the doctors and other health care people who should be seeing the child regularly? So many, many times caregivers are sent off to care for the sick or disabled with no training, help, or follow up. They struggle along not aware of what types of help are available and the people who should have helped them in the first place let them fall thru the cracks. Unless/until they fall apart or something bad happens that drives them to bring it to someone's attention, the situation continues. Caregivers get overwhelmed, exhausted, depressed, don't eat right, have no time to research their options themselves. Often the doctors are also not aware ( some don't even care) to find out what is there for them. The old idea of "stick them in an institution" still applies for many. Even when their world falls apart, they are too frightened to ask for help...thinking that they will be punished in some way. You try to prioritize but there are only so many hours in the day. If there are any eating issues at all then EVERYTHING has to be put aside to deal with them and that is not always possible. If it takes a caregiver 4 hours per meal to get all the nutrition in then that is 12 hours a day for feeding alone.

I know this because 12 years ago my DH had surgery for kidney cancer. His post surgical care was screwed up but no one wanted to admit it. So, they blamed the resulting problems on him, (post surgical depression/passive aggressive behavior) on me, on our aides. His eating and care issues went on for months, we lost aides because of it, and I finally had a nervous breakdown. It was taking us 10 hours a day just for feedings. I only had 6 hours of help per day for his personal care, laundry, cleaning his room, therapies etc. I was pulling 22 hour days. This was just my DH and myself. We had no children. The gerbils we had didn't get the care they needed but they were fed and watered. The cat was also fed and watered but he got very little attention otherwise. We were getting aides to come in. I was talking to his doctors fairly regularly about the problems. We did have a counselor coming in weekly for sessions and yet no one picked up on the fact that I was in deep deep trouble until the day that the counselor came in to find me on a cot in DH's room, in clothes I had been in for days and crying hysterically. Within an hour, hubby was in the ER being evaluated, I was being swamped by various medical and state investigators asking "What went wrong?". Because it looked like someone else was going to have to care for hubby if I couldn't, everyone got together and found out what help there was for us. Hubby was kept at the hospital, as was I (so I could rest under supervision), and we weren't sent home until things were made somewhat better. BUT that is often what it takes.

My guess is that the clues were there but no one paid any freaking attention. We lived in Detroit for a couple of years, right in the heart of the city, in a residential hotel. This was before DH's aneurysm. There was another residential hotel accross the street and every workday a couple that worked took their elderly handicapped father and placed him outside the building and left him there for the day. No food, water, or shelter. Everyday, people passed him by, including religious professionals, police, fire, ambulance...no one did anything. No one helped. When I wanted to I was told to "mind my own business".
Before you condemn the mother, many questions should be asked. The biggest one being, as a society, are we failing the most helpless among us?
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:13 PM #5
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My Mood: horrified and heartbroken after watching the evening news...
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My prayers are with the helpless little boy and my prayers are that the mom gets what she deserves.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:17 PM #6
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Trekker- you are absolutely right. No mention has been made of the responsibility of the child's parents. Where are they? The woman being charged was not the mother. No mention has been made of why there was no follow up on her care- why there were no regular social workers checking on him, why there was no home medical if he needed it, why there was no community support for this child. The whole thing makes me ill. The fact that here is a child who needs help- here is a family who needs help- and there is no help until someone is horrendously injured. Losing 22 lbs is not something that happens in a fit of anger, overnight or even in a week. Rats do not move in and begin biting children in short periods of time. This is something that has been going for a while.

And yet where is the protection? Where are the resources to help people who are UNABLE to help themselves? I understand how difficult it can be to take care of someone else- I have done it myself. I commend you that you were able to devote your life to taking care of your husband when he needed it and am glad that you were able to find some respite. It seems like all too often the "authorities" are dismissive of situations like these until there are charges of neglect, and THEN they are all too eager to dig up all the ways you were weak.

It makes me very sad to hear about the man who was left alone all day. I just don't understand why the help isn't there BEFORE things get so bad.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:20 PM #7
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I apologize for assuming it was his mother. I hope the caregiver gets what she deserves.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:28 PM #8
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I think I should add also, this happened not 30 miles from my home. I guess in some ways, I feel responsible- like we have failed this little boy as a community. And that also adds to my sadness.
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:26 AM #9
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No, Elle, don't blame yourself.

I agree with the others. How things slip through the cracks. If we ourselves didn't arm ourselves with the knowledge we need, we'd fall right through that crack too!

I'm sure some places in America are better than others, but our health care system needs desperate help.

I myself am lucky enough to have a job with medical. But the insurance keeps getting, well, nastier and nastier to the point my own doctor complains to me about it. It makes it difficult to afford to go to the doctor EVEN with medical anymore.

Anyway, off track again. I hope that family gets all the help they need now.
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:27 AM #10
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Elle
you HAVE done something.........you have cared enough to bring it to the attention of everyone here and so many prayers are being lifted for that child and the others. There is great power in unity of prayer
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