Oklahoma nurse arrested for forcing 10-year-old daughter to undergo unnecessary medical procedures
Similar to the story of Hulu's 'The Act', 34-year-old Alisha Newman is believed to be suffering from Munchausen's by proxy syndrome and is facing 15 years in jail if convicted of her charges
An Oklahoma City woman has been arrested and charged for allegedly faking her 10-year-old's medical health information to health care providers in multiple states, which resulted in the young girl being subjected to unnecessary and potentially fatal medical procedures, similar to the story of Hulu's 'The Act' based on the real-life story of Gypsy Rose.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which obtained a criminal complaint filed in connection to the case, 34-year-old Alisha Newman had her daughter undergo procedures that saw her being fitted with a pacemaker, a feeding tube, and an IV port by providing false or misleading information to medical providers. The crimes came to light after she took her severely ill daughter to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to see a pediatric gastroenterologist in a grave, life-threatening condition on May 7.
The 10-year-old was admitted to the ICU, where doctors found she was in severe shock and experiencing acute renal failure, organ damage, and acidosis. A medical test determined her condition was because of a bacteria that causes these problems if it migrates outside the gut.
She was treated with an antibiotic regimen that lasted 10 days, with records revealing that it was her second hospitalization for a severe infection in recent times. Just five weeks prior, she had previously been hospitalized for 21 days in Oklahoma for Klebsiella sepsis and bacteremia.
Her mother also revealed to the medical staff at the Children's Hospital that the 10-year-old had been diagnosed with dysautonomia, muscular dystrophy, mitochondrial disease, hypertension and hypotension, and severe dysmotility. While an examination of the young girl confirmed she had a pacemaker on her heart, a port to receive IVIG and IV fluids, and a gastro tube, her claims regarding her diagnoses still raised concerns.
The concerns stemmed from the fact that, in 2016, a team of physicians representing the Nelson Service for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases had ruled out both muscular dystrophy and mitochondrial disorders in the girl. During hospitalization in Children's the same year, no evidence for any other rare disorders was found either.
Alyssa Stephany, the medical director of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Children's, subsequently reviewed the girl's medical records from birth and found a pattern of Newman providing false or medical providers about her daughter, stated the report. She ventured that the 34-year-old suffered from factitious disorder by proxy, more popularly known as Munchhausen syndrome by proxy, where a parent or a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury to the person under his/her care as a means to gain sympathy or attention.
Newman, who Oxygen reported to be a registered nurse in Oklahoma, has been charged with physical abuse of a child causing great bodily harm and child neglect. If convicted of either charge, she could face up to 15 years behind bars and $50,000 in fines. She is currently being held at the Milwaukee County Jail on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court for her preliminary hearing on June 7.
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