A nurse pretended her 10 year-old daughter was ill and made doctors perform serious surgical operations that were totally unnecessary, police say.
Alisha Newman, 34, arraigned for her daughter to get a pacemaker, feeding tube, and an IV port among other unneeded treatments, it is alleged.
Newman appeared in court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday and reportedly mouthed the words Help me to her husband who was sitting in the court gallery as she was charged, Fox 6 reported.
Hospital staff became suspicious and eventually notified police once Newmans daughter contracted two serious bacterial infections weeks apart.
The child had numerous surgeries because of her mother, including do not resuscitate orders, prosecutor Mathew Torbenson said, adding This was a life-threatening, life-altering situation for this poor 10-year-old child.
Newman allegedly told doctors that her daughter had been diagnosed with serious conditions including dysautonomia, muscular dystrophy, mitochondrial disease, hypertension, hypotension and severe dysmotility – but after investigating, it was discovered that those conditions were ruled out by specialists who assessed the girl three years ago.
Doctors suspect Newman may be suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, also known as factitious disorder, which is a mental health condition where a person acts as if an individual he or she is caring for has a physical or mental illness when the person is not really sick, according to the Cleveland Clinic.