‘This Could Be Your Child’: Father of Justina Pelletier Discusses Ordeal As Teen Returns Home
Justina Pelletier has finally returned home after being taken from her family more than a year ago.
Read background from FoxNews.com:
The case began when the girl's parents disagreed with a psychiatric diagnosis given by Boston Children's Hospital in February 2013 and said they wanted their daughter returned to her original physician at Tufts Medical Center, who had previously treated Justina for mitochondrial disease, a group of rare genetic disorders affecting cellular energy production.
In May, Justina was moved from Massachusetts to a facility in Thompson, Conn., allowing her parents to visit with their daughter, but doing little to dampen their determination to win her back for good. In a 45-second, videotaped plea, first posted on a Facebook support page last week, Justina is seen sitting in a chair and pleading plaintively with Massachusetts juvenile court Judge Joseph Johnston.
"All I really want is to be with my family and friends," the girl says in the video, her voice faltering at times. "You can do it. You're the one that's judging this. Please let me go home."
The judge granted the girl's wish after state officials filed a motion agreeing that the teenager should be returned to her family.
In his ruling, Johnston credited the Thompson facility, the Justice Resource Institute Susan Wayne Center for Excellence, saying it “proved to be an excellent placement in which Justina and her family have received necessary and appropriate support and services working towards the goal of Justina’s return home.”
Johnston’s decision, handed down Tuesday, also contained praise for the Pelletier family, saying Linda and Lou Pelletier, have been cooperative and engaged in services. He said the local school district in West Hartford 4. The West Hartford has created a comprehensive special education plan for Justina that includes small group and individual classroom instruction, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, physical therapy, and individual counseling.
The school work will be part of what the Pelletiers say will be a long healing process. A former competitive skater, Justina is now confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk.
Justina’s father Lou and her sister Jennifer were on “Hannity” tonight to discuss the ordeal.
When asked how authorities could take Justina, Lou told Sean Hannity, “It’s because they can.” He explained that her situation is not an isolated incident and that it’s happening all over the country. Lou said that hospitals have learned through HHS rulings that if someone is a ward of the state or in DCF custody, hospitals can perform research on a patient with no consequences.
Jennifer said her sister is now in worse shape than before. She went from skating and riding her bike to not being able to walk.
“This can’t go on. It’s disgusting to hurt anybody, let alone a kid,” she said.
Lou said the family will fight for what they will call “Justina’s Law” so that this doesn’t happen to others.
“Remember Sean, this could be your child,” he said.
Watch the interview above.