Parents fight for custody of hospitalized 15-year-old daughter - FOX 35 News Orlando

Parents fight for custody of hospitalized 15-year-old daughter

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Justina Pelletier's hospitalization has drawn national and international attention since it's aired on Fox.

Justina Pelletier is a 15-year-old who's been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease years ago – a condition causing muscle pain and weakness. Then, nine months ago, she was admitted to Boston Children's Hospital with the flu.

At BCH, her parents say a different set of doctors diagnosed her with "somatoform disorder," in short, saying she suffered from a mental illness, not mitochondrial disease.

When her parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier disagreed and asked for a second opinion, they lost custody of Justina. The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families was called in after just four days. The parents haven't had custody now for nine months.

Parent Heather Harwood said, "They're heartbroken... they're upset. They just want their daughter home."

The Pelletier family still has upcoming court dates in Boston, where they hope to gain custody of Justina, but if they don't, she could remain in DCF care until she's 18.

Boston Children's Hospital released this statement which says in part:

"The Hospital is not the custodian or the legal guardian of the patients in its care, nor is it affiliated with any state agency.  Our staff are caring and supportive professionals who aim to provide the best and most appropriate care for each and every child, regardless of diagnosis."

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