A 31-year-old mother has been accused of subjecting her adopted daughter to more than 500 treatments and unnecessary surgeries for an illness she never had.
Sophie Hartman claimed that her 6-year-old daughter suffered from Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood, a rare neurological disease, but doctors said that the girl is healthy.
The mother has taken the girl to different appointments since she was a toddler and subjected her to an ‘unnecessary medical procedure.’
The young girl had a surgically implanted feeding tube and was forced to wear leg braces and a wheelchair even though she is perfectly healthy.
An investigation in the case charges the 31-year-old with ‘medical child abuse,’ stating doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital requested a consultation after becoming concerned Hartman was already asking for ‘increasingly invasive procedures based upon undocumented signs and symptoms reported by the parent.’
Reports noted that a concern that “this pattern has resulted in unnecessary medical testing, medication, procedures, surgeries and debility of this child.”
The young girl was now removed from Hartman’s care.
Search warrants showed that the child was diagnosed with the neurological disorder but doctors said this was only based on symptoms and other information provided to them by the mother.
The symptoms she provided include severe seizures.
Investigators said that Hartman’s diary reveals she has a history of being untruthful about having medical conditions, such as mono and meningitis.
“When it comes to suffering, I am a compulsive liar/exaggerator,” she wrote in one entry.
In a video for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Hartman said that her daughter was diagnosed with a disease that means ‘at any given time, she can go paralyzed.’
“Doctors, even the best pediatric specialists, do not know what to do and do not have treatment options… She needs access to oxygen because her breathing shallows and slows; she depends on her feeding tube when she’s unable to eat.”
But a statement viewed by Q13 FOX that was issued by the mother’s lawyers on her behalf claims that Harman is ‘innocent of these charges.’
“Contrary to the allegations of the King County Prosecuting Attorney, the child’s diagnosis was made by more than one doctor, is legitimate, and is based on a substantial record beyond the reports and information provided by Ms. Hartman,” the statement reads.
“That record includes independent medical examinations by multiple doctors, direct observation of the child by doctors and nurses at Duke and at Seattle Children’s Hospital, standardized testing results, videotapes of the child’s symptoms, MRI, EEG and other diagnostic tests.”
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