Justina Pelletier was 14 when her parents took her to Boston Children’s Hospital with flu-like symptoms. She had previously been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by doctors at Tufts Medical Center. But the doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital threw out that diagnosis. They told Justina’s parents that she had a psychological condition called somatoform disorder and that her symptoms were in her head.
The teen was placed in DCF custody when her parents attempted to take her back to Tufts, igniting a 16-month-long custody battle. A judge finally ruled this month that Justina could return home to her family.
“No one was on my side there, no one believed me there,” she said. “Everyone thought that I was faking all this medical stuff.”
The doctors stopped giving her the medicine she had been taking for some time, and she went from figure skating to being confined to a wheelchair.
Justina has a long road to recovery ahead of her because of her treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital. She will only be able to attend school for an hour per day and will have daily water and land physical therapy.
The teen also weighed in on the proposed “Justina’s Law,” which is supported on both sides of the aisle by Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.). She said the proposed legislation is “awesome” and that nobody should have to go through what she did.
In an exclusive interview with , the Connecticut teenager explains what it was like to live in a DCF facility here in Massachusetts.