As a West Hartford family fights for their daughter’s return from Massachusetts State custody, they now fear her medical condition is deteriorating.
Justina Pelletier’s sister, Jennifer, sat down with Fox CT Saturday for an exclusive one on one interview.
Despite the expectation of a custody ruling by Friday March 21, which had been suggested at a court hearing on Monday March 17, the Boston judge presiding over the Justina Pelletier case pushed his decision deadline to Tuesday March 25.
The move further frustrated the 15-year-old West Hartford teen’s family, who have been battling for her custody in court for nearly 14 months.
Justina’s oldest sister, Jennifer, visited with Justina during a scheduled weekly one-hour visit Friday, and says she has never seen her in worse condition.
“Her physical appearance, just from seeing her, it’s scary. Her legs are more swollen. They’re cold to the touch. She has no feeling in her feet,” Jennifer said Saturday.
Justina was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by doctors at Tufts Medical Center years ago, a condition causing muscle pain and weakness, but when she was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital with the flu last year, doctors said she had somatoform disorder, a mental condition.
The Massachusetts child welfare agency took custody of Justina and has retained it ever since.
“They’re saying one thing and not following through. I just don’t think it’s fair anymore at this point to keep prolonging it,” Jennifer Pelletier told Fox CT on Saturday.
The judge recently ordered Tufts Medical Center to handle all future medical care, but the Pelletiers say that so far, Justina hasn’t been seen by any Tufts physicians.
Jennifer Pelletier says that she has brought her concerns about Justina’s medical condition to the attention of Massachusetts DCF workers to no avail.
Justina is currently living at the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network in Framingham, Mass., but the Mass. DCF recently expressed a willingness to place her in Connecticut.
Judge Joseph Johnston told the family’s Massachusetts counsel, Philp Moran, on Friday, that he will fax his ruling out before the close of business on Tuesday.