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A powerful and heartbreakingly moving memoir of a survivor of the world's most lethal and best hidden forms of child abuse. A young girl is perched on yet another doctor's examining table, missing yet another day of school. Just 12 years old, she's tall, skinny and weak. It's 4 pm and she hasn't eaten anything all day. Her mother, on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She's about to suggest open heart surgery on her child to 'get to the bottom of this'. She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. This child will not ruin her plans. From early childhood, Julie Gregory was continually x-rayed, medicated and operated on - in the vain pursuit of an illness that was all in her mother's mind. Munchausen by proxy (MBP) is the world's most dangerous form of child abuse, in which the caretaker - almost always the mother - invents or induces symptoms in her child because she craves attention from medical professionals. Most MBP children die. Julie Gregory not only found the courage to survive, but to save others.
A young girl is perched on the cold chrome of yet another doctor's examining table, missing yet another day of school. Just twelve, she's tall, skinny, and weak. It's four o'clock, and she hasn't been allowed to eat anything all day. Her mother, on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She's about to suggest open-heart surgery on her child to 'get to the bottom of this'. She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. This child will not ruin her plans. From early childhood, Julie Gregory was continually X-rayed, medicated, and operated on in the vain pursuit of an illness that was created in her mother's mind: Munchausen by Proxy, the world's most hidden and dangerous form of child abuse. Sickened is her story.
A young girl is perched on the cold chrome of yet another doctor's examining table, missing yet another day of school. Just twelve, she's tall, undernourished and weak. It's four o'clock, and she hasn't been allowed to eat anything all day - in fact she is often not allowed to eat much at all. She's terrified. Her mother, on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She's about to suggest open heart surgery on her child to "get to the bottom of this." She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. This child will not ruin her plans. Show them how sick you are - or else. From early childhood, Julie Gregory was continually X-rayed, medicated, starved and operated on-in the vain pursuit of an illness that was created in her mother's mind. Munchausen by proxy (or MBP) is the world's most hidden, misunderstood and lethal form of child abuse, in which the caretaker-almost always the mother-invents or induces symptoms in her child because she craves the attention of medical professionals. Julie Gregory is lucky to be alive. Most MBP children die. And Gregory not only survived, she escaped the powerful orbit of her mother's madness and rebuilt her identity as a vibrant, healthy young woman. SICKENED is a remarkable memoir that will leave an indelible mark on any one who reads it - Gregory's writing is superb and she interweaves this harrowing story with a fierce humour that somehow make this even more heartbreaking. This is not only a mesmerising piece of writing, but it's the first memoir by a survivor of Munchausen by proxy. Punctuated with Julie's actual medical records, it re-creates the bizarre cocoon of her family life along with the astonishing naivete of medical professionals and social workers. It also exposes the twisted bonds of terror and love that roped Julie's family together-including the love that made a child willing to sacrifice herself to win her mother's happiness. The realisation that the sickness lay not in herself, but in her mother, would not come to Julie until adulthood. But when it did, it would strike like lightning. Through her painful metamorphosis, she discovered the courage to save her own life-and, ultimately, the life of the girl her mother had found to take her place.
The story that captivated a nation?how a horribly neglected little girl was rescued by her loving adoptive parents In July 2005, a six-year-old girl named Danielle was removed from her Florida home after authorities found her living in bug-ridden squalor, subjected to horrific neglect and so damaged by her own mother that recovery seemed hopeless. But hope was waiting for Dani?and help. In October 2007, Bernie and Diane Lierow, a hard-working couple with five boys of their own, adopted her and utterly transformed her life. This book tells the moving story of how the Lierows rescued Dani and helped her recover to the point where she can not only communicate, something once thought impossible, but can say of herself, "I pretty." Dani's story was featured on Oprah and the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning article published by the St. Petersburg Times The Lierows describe their struggle to adopt Dani, how they bonded with her and made a home for her, how they satisfied her craving for contact and stimuli, how Dani began to overcome her severe learning disabilities, how she learned she no longer had to steal food, and how their son Willie may be the greatest brother ever For readers who enjoyed Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope; Hope's Boy; and Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood Charting a perilous journey from hardship to hope, a new family, and a second chance at life, Dani's Story is a book you cannot put down and will never forget.
The true story of Donna Ford, who between the ages of five and eleven was abused by her stepmother Helen. Labelled 'the bastard', the 'little witch' and 'the evil one'; beaten, isolated and afraid to even look at her own reflection, this beautiful little child was told she was lucky to be the victim of abuse - abuse which began as physical and mental, but progressed to the most appalling sexual attacks. Despite an horrendous early life, Donna is now a successful artist and mother of three with an enormous enthusiasm and an optimism which completely belies her experiences. In 2003, Donna watched as her stepmother was found guilty of 'procuring a minor' for sexual abuse and sentenced to two years in prison. Beautifully written and savagely honest, The Step Child is Donna's story. It is an inspiring tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.
Taken from bizarre cases of real patients, Playing Sick? is the first book to chronicle the devastating impact of phony illnesses--factitious disorders and Munchausen syndrome--on patients and caregivers alike. Based on years of research and clinical practice, Playing Sick? provides the clues that can help practitioners and family members recognize these disorders, avoid invasive procedures, and sort out the motives that drive people to hurt themselves and deceive others. With insight and years of hands-on experience, Feldman shows how to get these emotionally ill patients the psychiatric help they need.
A powerful and compelling memoir of growing up with a schizophrenic father, who hid his mental illness behind a charismatic larger-than-life, gluttonous personality and found logical explanations for the most bizarre ways of thinking. From the international No.1 bestselling author of Sickened.

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