Hospital To Keep Toddler Charlotte At Christmas
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 15, 2005
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND--The parents of Charlotte Wyatt expressed disappointment and anger at hospital personnel for preventing them from bringing their two-year-old daughter home for Christmas Day.
Debbie and Darren Wyatt brought Charlotte for her first home visit on December 6. Things went so well during the two-hour visit that they were optimistic they would be able to bring her home for Christmas, and eventually, for good.
But, as the Daily Mail reported Wednesday, St. Mary's Hospital has informed the Wyatts that Charlotte would not leave for home visits before the New Year.
Hospital officials would not comment, citing patient confidentiality.
Since Charlotte was born three months premature on October 21, 2003, doctors have insisted that she has serious heart and lung problems, is deaf and blind, makes no movement on her own and feels no sensations except constant pain. They predicted in October 2004 that she would develop a lung infection during that winter and would stop breathing. At the time, the High Court agreed with the hospital that Charlotte's quality of life was "intolerable" and that it would be in her best interest to leave her to die if her breathing stopped.
Charlotte's parents resolved to fight to help their daughter stay alive. The Wyatts claim that their daughter reaches out to them, tries to talk and sit up, likes to watch her toys, and is now eating solid foods.
During the December 6 visit, two hospital staff accompanied Charlotte to oversee her care at home. Hospital administration reportedly believe the Wyatts are not yet ready to look after their daughter on their own.
"We felt last week's visit was successful and we were looking forward to having Charlotte home for Christmas Day," said Mrs. Wyatt. "But now we have been told it won't be until after Christmas and we haven't been given any guarantee of when."
"We feel we haven't got any control over our daughter's life, we feel we are not the parents any more," she said, adding that she would be consulting with their lawyer.