After her family spent more than a year fighting for her release from Boston Children’s Hospital earlier this year, Justina Pelletier has reportedly been rehospitalized with what her parents say is acute gastrointestinal distress.
The girl's father, Lou Pelletier, told the Boston Globe that they decided to admit Justina to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital after the 16-year-old began suffering from gastrointestinal distress and developed difficulty walking. She has since been transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for additional testing as the family felt the hospital has the most expertise to treat Justina’s medical disorders.
Boston Children’s Hospital successfully petitioned to have the state of Massachusetts take custody of Justina Pelletier in 2013 on accusations that her parents had committed medical child abuse. Officials claimed her symptoms were “psychological” and not physical as a result of medical problems.
But Lou Pelletier said doctors at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital treated his daughter for her physical symptoms, making the parents more comfortable with the situation given their recent legal battle with Boston Children’s Hospital and the state of Massachusetts.
“It’s 100 percent medical,” Pelletier told the Globe. “There’s no psychological cause. Never has been and never is.”
Pelletier maintained that his daughter mostly suffers from mitochondrial disease, which the Boston Globe describes as a “rare metabolic condition that often affects multiple organs.”
Lou and Linda Pelletier have reportedly been “getting along better” with clinicians treating Justina.
The father said he is confident doctors at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia can get Justina’s “health stabilized” and back on the right track physically. It wasn't clear when Justina was expected to return home from the hospital.
In the meantime, the parents are consulting an attorney on possibly filing a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families as well as Boston Children’s Hospital for allegedly causing physical and psychological harm to their child. In total, Justina was kept away from home for about 16 months.
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