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The Gypsy Rose Blanchard Story

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by MHDNURSE MHDNURSE (Member)

MHDNURSE has 21 years experience .

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Has anyone here heard about this case?  I watched this documentary on it after seeing an add for the new HULU series "Act" that is based on the real case.  It is UNREAL!!  If you have any interest in a really severe case of Munchausen by Proxy, it is fascinating, sad, and just unbelievable:

I feel like as school nurses, our suspicions of possible MBP can sometimes be aroused since we deal with the parents so often.  I know for me I have a couple kids who I feel are walking very close to the edge and am keeping a close eye on them.  Anyway, figured I would share in case anyone was interested.

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BunnyBunnyBSNRN has 13 years experience as a ASN, BSN and works as a School Nurse.

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I haven't seen the documentary, but I did see the story on Snapped a while back.  It is so sad and strange and painful.  I'm not sure if I want to watch the documentary, I don't know if my heart can take it.

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Flare is a ASN, BSN and works as a School nurse firefighter.

2 Followers; 5 Articles; 33,694 Visitors; 3,945 Posts

i've read about this story with great interest, but don't have hulu - so i haven't seen Act :(

I think i also saw the same documentary on Snapped - it was on one of my "upper channels" - soo captivating.  

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kidzcare has 5 years experience.

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I have been watching the HULU show. Very interesting. 

I don't know if it's the same one you posted above, but "Mommy Dead and Dearest" is available on YouTube and tells the story. 

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I have a family that has raised my red flag for a while, and it was actually watching this show on HULU that helped me put the pieces together that the parents' "strange/overbearing behavior" may be abuse. 

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OldDude works as a School Nurse.

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This is more common, with many variants, than we realize...unfortunately.

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1,976 Visitors; 188 Posts

3 minutes ago, OldDude said:

This is more common, with many variants, than we realize...unfortunately.

The Gypsy Rose story is pretty extreme, but in my school where the population is extremely affluent and lots of resources and time to focus on health issues, there are a lot of borderline cases... as in, parents seeking unnecessary medical eval and treatment for their children which ultimately effects the kid's self esteem, school attendance, participation in sports/extracurriculars, etc. It's such a shame. 

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Blue_Moon has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse.

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I've been watching this and am shocked and horrified. I also watched the one on Youtube on the same family. It's really sad there was a dr who had a suspicion and reported it to CPS but just kind of dropped it after that. I was also shocked how easily the mom convinced the dr's of all these "issues" she had. Such a shame. Then when the daughter was trying to be more normal as she entered adulthood mom's controlling behavior got worse. It's sad it ended the way it did but honestly that mom was never going to let that girl go any other way. It's so sad it got to that point. It makes me more aware for sure! 

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MHDNURSE has 21 years experience.

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I remember when I was in nursing school I was doing my Pedi rotation at the children's hospital and there was a baby there (around 10 months or so I can't remember) who the nurses were watching closely.  My preceptor mentioned that over the course of the baby's stay in the hospital, random new issues would crop up, and it was always when Mom was alone with him in the room for extended periods of time.  They finally caught her when she had complained that the baby had blood in his diaper.  The poor baby had a bunch of invasive testing done to diagnose any source of rectal or urethral bleeding and in the end they caught mom squirting blood from a prick on her finger and smearing it into a diaper 😥  I had arrived for my rotation one morning and there were police there, social services, etc.  It was heartbreaking.  That was the first time I had ever heard of Munchausen by Proxy. 

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kidzcare has 5 years experience.

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2 minutes ago, MHDNURSE said:

I remember when I was in nursing school I was doing my Pedi rotation at the children's hospital and there was a baby there (around 10 months or so I can't remember) who the nurses were watching closely.  My preceptor mentioned that over the course of the baby's stay in the hospital, random new issues would crop up, and it was always when Mom was alone with him in the room for extended periods of time.  They finally caught her when she had complained that the baby had blood in his diaper.  The poor baby had a bunch of invasive testing done to diagnose any source of rectal or urethral bleeding and in the end they caught mom squirting blood from a prick on her finger and smearing it into a diaper 😥  I had arrived for my rotation one morning and there were police there, social services, etc.  It was heartbreaking.  That was the first time I had ever heard of Munchausen by Proxy. 

Wow. Very sad. 

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k1p1ssk has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a school nurse.

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We had a serious case at a previous employer of mine... 

It was a very similar story to Gypsy Rose... Parents insisted she had a metabolic d/o so she had tube feeds instead of a PO diet. They would only come in during our urgent care hours, when it was just one doc + a nurse, and likely not her PCP. Insisted on traveling to a hospital 90minutes away for all of her care. She was 7 I believe, but cognitively around 3y.o.

Ultimately, the dad snapped one day and poured drain-o into her g-tube and in seeing how much pain she was in, overdosed her with oxy, so she fell into a coma. She lost 30% of her intestines from that and was in the hospital for 3 months, but luckily DCF took her and they arrested dad for attempted murder; I'm pretty sure he'll be in jail until she's well out of college... Once her intestines healed, they tried her on a regular diet and she immediately started gaining weight, and cognitively improved to age-appropriate levels within a month. 

More recently, we had a mother in our school insisting her child had all these psychiatric d/o's, and medicating him to high heaven. She went so far as to get her PCP to file on our school for not handling accusations of bullying. DCF found the accusations to be unfounded and she ended up taking him out of school and has been homeschooling him since the beginning of dec... I feel pretty confident that kid is a victim of MBP as well, but its so hard to file for emotional abuse.

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MHDNURSE has 21 years experience.

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16 minutes ago, k1p1ssk said:

We had a serious case at a previous employer of mine... 

It was a very similar story to Gypsy Rose... Parents insisted she had a metabolic d/o so she had tube feeds instead of a PO diet. They would only come in during our urgent care hours, when it was just one doc + a nurse, and likely not her PCP. Insisted on traveling to a hospital 90minutes away for all of her care. She was 7 I believe, but cognitively around 3y.o.

Ultimately, the dad snapped one day and poured drain-o into her g-tube and in seeing how much pain she was in, overdosed her with oxy, so she fell into a coma. She lost 30% of her intestines from that and was in the hospital for 3 months, but luckily DCF took her and they arrested dad for attempted murder; I'm pretty sure he'll be in jail until she's well out of college... Once her intestines healed, they tried her on a regular diet and she immediately started gaining weight, and cognitively improved to age-appropriate levels within a month. 

More recently, we had a mother in our school insisting her child had all these psychiatric d/o's, and medicating him to high heaven. She went so far as to get her PCP to file on our school for not handling accusations of bullying. DCF found the accusations to be unfounded and she ended up taking him out of school and has been homeschooling him since the beginning of dec... I feel pretty confident that kid is a victim of MBP as well, but its so hard to file for emotional abuse.

Unbelievable!!!  That first case- just wow!  And amazing how regular feeds not only improved her physical state but also her cognitive abilities in such a short amount of time. 

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