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For Haleigh Poutre, Breathing Was a Good Thing

Almost three years ago, a Massachusetts girl was taken to an emergency room with what was described as “flulike” symptoms. There are two important and tragic parts to this story:

  • Haleigh’s mother and stepfather were eventually charged with causing Haleigh’s traumatic brain injuries.
  • After only six days of unconsciousness a court was asked for permission to remove her feeding tube and respirator.

The order was given to give up on Haleigh — and, fortunately, she began breathing on her own just 24 hours after the Supreme Judicial Court agreed with the lower court that Haleigh’s life was not worth saving.

Ironically, the stepfather’s appeals (while he was obviously trying to save his own skin) kept her on life support until that momentous day when she began to recover.

Now 14 and still undergoing intense rehabilitation, Haleigh has provided police with heartbreaking testimony about the beatings she endured.

Truly, this is a miracle child — she not only survived repeated abuse, but beat the social service system, the medical professionals, and the courts who gave up on her long before her time was up.

Barbara

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