A disabled woman went on a healing pilgrimage to Lourdes – and returned with broken legs.
The family of cerebral palsy sufferer Patricia Mitchell have launched legal action against the organisers of the trip after she fell 4ft from a hoist.
Mrs Mitchell, who was wheelchair-bound, broke her left leg in three places and her right leg once.
Her family say she never fully recovered from the fall and she died earlier this year aged 63.
Her sisters Pauline Scarr and Terry Featherstone are now suing for tens of thousands of pounds.
Mrs Featherstone, 60, said: ‘You go to Lourdes to get cured and she came back with two broken legs. It’s unbelievable.’
Mrs Scarr, 62, said: ‘We want justice now for Patricia. I want answers.’
Mrs Mitchell, from Bowburn, County Durham, was born with cerebral palsy and had never been able to work. As well as her lifelong condition, she had also survived breast cancer and the death of her husband Ian in 1995.
A devout Roman Catholic, she had travelled to Lourdes several times hoping for a miracle healing, and on one occasion had met Pope John Paul II.
She returned to Lourdes in August 2005 for a the £450 week-long stay with HCPT: The Pilgrimage Trust and Disabled Together.
Two volunteer carers had just helped bathe Mr Mitchell when she fell about 4ft to the ground from a hoist.
She was assessed by a nurse but was told she had not sustained serious injuries, her sisters say.
It was only when Mrs Mitchell returned to the North East that it emerged she had broken her left leg in three places and her right leg once.
For a time, doctors feared they may have to amputate.
After a few weeks Mrs Mitchell left hospital, but, her sisters claim, was never the same and she died on February 4 this year.
Mrs Scarr said: ‘It’s so sad. She was disabled, but she led a good life and I think if it wasn’t for the fall, she would still be here today.’
A spokesman for HCPT said she was unable to comment as the matter was with the organisation insurers.
Disabled Together did not respond to a request for interview.
–noun; the method of treating disease by pseudo-scientific bullshit methods, that often causes a marginally sick person with curable illnesses or diseases to degrade and become critically or terminally ill; similar to religion (opposed to LOGIC, SCIENCE, MEDICINE, SANITY, NON-RETARDED-BULLSHIT ).
A couple who failed to seek medical treatment for their baby daughter, who was severely ill with eczema before an infection killed her, wept in the dock today as they were jailed for her manslaughter.
Thomas Sam, 42, and his wife Manju, 37, were convicted in the NSW Supreme Court over the death of nine-month-old Gloria, with a jury accepting they were guilty of criminal negligence.
Sentencing Thomas Sam to a minimum of six years in jail and Manju Sam to at least four, Justice Peter Johnson said Gloria was subjected to significant pain over an extended period and her parents’ failure to seek proper help for her amounted to cruelty.
“Gloria suffered helplessly and unnecessarily … from a condition that was treatable,” the judge said.
Gloria was happy and healthy for the first four months of her life, but then developed eczema.
The court heard that, despite medical advice to seek specialist treatment, her parents repeatedly failed to make or attend appointments.
Instead, her father – who taught and practised homeopathy – treated her himself.
By the time her weakened immune system succumbed to an infection in May 2002, her black hair had turned white and her body was covered with an oozing rash.
She died three days after being admitted to the Children’s Hospital at Randwick.
Medical experts told the trial that, had she been given medical attention a week earlier, she probably could have been saved.
Justice Johnson said Thomas Sam displayed “an arrogant approach to what he perceived to be the superior benefits of homeopathy compared with conventional medicine”.
The judge said that, while Sam’s wife deferred to her husband, she had “failed the child in her most important duty, with fatal results”.
It was overwhelmingly clear that homeopathy would not suffice in dealing with the severity of Gloria’s condition, Justice Johnson said, and there was a “wide chasm” between her parents’ approach and the action a reasonable parent would have taken in those circumstances.
“The omission of the offenders to seek proper assistance for her may be characterised accurately as cruelty,” he said.
He jailed Thomas Sam for a maximum eight years, and Manju Sam for a maximum five years and four months.
The weeping couple embraced in the dock before they were led into custody.
15-month-old girl died from untreated infection, authorities say
OREGON CITY, Ore. – A couple whose church preaches against medical care are facing criminal charges after their young daughter died of an infection that authorities said went untreated.
Carl and Raylene Worthington were indicted Friday on charges of manslaughter and criminal mistreatment in the death of their 15-month-old daughter Ava. They belong to the Followers of Christ Church, whose members have a history of treating gravely ill children only with prayer.
Ava died March 2 of bronchial pneumonia and a blood infection. The state medical examinerâ€™s office has said she could have been treated with antibiotics.
Dr. Christopher Young, a deputy state medical examiner, said the childâ€™s breathing was further hampered by a benign cyst on her neck that had never been medically addressed, The Oregonian reported.
Laws passed in the 1990s struck down legal shields for faith-healing parents after the deaths of several children whose parents were members of the fundamentalist church.