It’s been nearly two weeks since Justina Pelletier returned home to her family. After being “kidnapped” by Boston Children’s Hospital and kept under the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families for 16 months, the brave teen is now speaking out on her treatment while under government control.
In an exclusive interview on Fox News’ Mike Huckabee show Saturday, the 16-year-old described the ordeal as “very scary.”
She told her host that in her entire experience away from her family, she was only permitted to see her family once a week for an hour under DCF’s (Department of Children and Families) supervision. Her calls to her family were also limited to 20 minutes in weekly intervals.
“No-one was on my side there,” Pelletier said. “No one believed me there. Everyone thought I was faking all this medical stuff.”
When asked if she had heard about the proposed law, nicknamed, “Justina’s Law,” the teen responded with an affirmative.
“I’m like, ‘Yeah, this should never happen again to anybody.’ To any kid or any person. They should never be put through what I’ve been put through,” Pelletier responded. “And they were so mean and nasty to me and they were being mean and terrible to my family also. And no-one should be put through that.”
The dispute began when Justina’s parents brought her to Boston Children’s Hospital while she was experiencing significant health problems in February of last year. She had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease – a disease that affects the function of the cell’s mitochondria – by a doctor at Tufts Medical Center. Justina had been receiving treatment there. Once she arrived at Boston Children’s Hospital, however, the Pelletiers say they were told by doctors that their daughter, instead, had a somatoform disorder – a psychiatric disorder. The Pelletiers were then accused of medical child abuse when they disagreed with the treatment plan proposed by the doctors and attempted to discharge her from their care. As a result, the parents lost custody of their daughter to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
Nearly a year later, Justina was relocated to her home state of Connecticut to reside in the JRI Susan Wayne Center for Excellence. Although the distance remained nearly the same, the reunification plan established by the DCF helped to change the tone of the case.
Justina returned to her home in West Hartford, Connecticut shortly afterwards.
Remembering the emotional hardships his family had to endure, Lou Pelletier, Justina’s dad, told Huckabee, “This was all a mad psychiatric experiment.”
Despite the pain of the past, however, Justina is motivated and excited to get her life back to normal as she reconnects with her family.
“I love them, I love them so much. I can’t believe I’m home with them,” she told Huckabee.
Her family is clearly relieved to have her back, and they are hopeful as they look ahead to the future.
“I’m really excited for everything to start getting back to normal,” said Justina’s sister, Julia Pelletier. “It’s a long road ahead, but we’ll definitely get there.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom