Mom Charged After Giving Her Daughter A Pacemaker, Feed Tube Without Reason

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Mom Charged After Giving Her Daughter A Pacemaker, Feed Tube Without Reason

Milwaukee County Jail/WITI screengrab

Authorities in Milwaukee County say a 34-year-old Oklahoma City woman has been charged with child abuse and child neglect after she faked the medical conditions of her 10-year-old daughter. This resulted in unnecessary treatments including the installation of a pacemaker, feeding tube and an IV port in the girl "” and that those treatments nearly ended her life.

Alisha Newman, a licensed nurse, was with one count each of physical child abuse, recklessly causing great bodily harm and child neglect, WITI reported.

Newman took her daughter to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on May 7. During the appointment, the girl's skin looked pale and ashen, and she appeared severely ill. The young girl was then admitted to the pediatric ICU, where she was diagnosed as being in severe shock and experiencing acute renal failure, organ damage and acidosis.  

This was the girl's second hospitalization for a severe infection. Five weeks earlier, according to the complaint, she was hospitalized in Oklahoma where she remained hospitalized for 21 days.

During the girl's hospitalization at Children's, Newman told the medical staff that her daughter had been diagnosed with dysautonomia, muscular dystrophy, mitochondrial disease, hypertension and hypotension, and severe dysmotility.  Children's staff confirmed the 10-year-old had a pacemaker on her heart, a port to receive IVIG and IV fluids, and a gastro tube.

Newman's claims concerning her daughter's medical diagnoses raised concerns because the girl was evaluated in November 2016 by a team of physicians representing the Nelson Service for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases, who ruled out muscular dystrophy and mitochondrial disorders as diagnoses. During a hospitalization at Children's in November 2016, the girl underwent additional testing, which revealed no evidence of rare disorders.

Alyssa Stephany, the medical director of Pediatric Hospital Medicine for Children's Hospital, told investigators that she believes the girl is the victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a condition in which a parent exaggerates or even induces health problems for an otherwise healthy child, often to gain attention or sympathy.

Newman is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on June 7. Her bond was set at $50,000.

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