Two children were forced to use wheelchairs and feign severe illness by their own mother.
The unnamed mom of two greatly exaggerated the symptoms of her son, 9, and her daughter, 7, resulting in them “unnecessarily” spending time in and out of hospitals, Metro reports.
The mother somehow even duped her social worker who oversaw the family’s case for six years and never questioned the children’s so-called conditions. Family court judge Vera Mayer accused the social worker of demonstrating “alarming ineptitude” after failing to raise “clear and obvious concerns” about the kids’ health.
“The local authority neglected this case and this family, and the social worker, who was allocated for six years, demonstrated alarming ineptitude in the face of clear and obvious concerns expressed by many over a long period,” Mayer said.
“A number of opportunities to intervene and spare the children unnecessary medical intervention have been missed,” she added.
Unsurprisingly, a psychiatrist said that there is evidence to suggest the mother is struggling with a mental illness of her own, which contributed to her falsely diagnosing her children.
The expert said it is possible that the woman is battling factitious disorder — which is a condition in which a person exaggerates symptoms of someone in their care — or somatic symptom disorder, which occurs when someone feels extreme anxiety about physical symptoms, including pain and fatigue.
“The mother fabricated and exaggerated symptoms in respect of both children,” Mayer said. “She has done this throughout the children’s lives.”
“Both children were unnecessarily medicated. They were both unnecessarily immobilized by spending time in wheelchairs,” she added.
According to Metro, the children’s father believed their mother had been telling the truth all this time. Ultimately, Mayer ruled that the children be taken out of their parents’ care.
The mother must have been incredibly convincing for neither the father nor the social worker to realize something was wrong. Additionally, the kids must have been phenomenal actors as the medical personnel who treated them were also fooled.
Alas, this isn’t the first time a parent successfully made their child truly believe they were ill when they were not. In 2015, a Texas mother was arrested after shaving her 7-year-old daughter’s head and convincing the child that she had cancer so she could scam money from people.
As for this mother, we can only hope that she gets the help she needs for the sake of her kids, who deserve to finally lead their lives as healthy children.