A teenage girl has awakened after spending more than two weeks unconscious in a Winnipeg hospital.
The 17-year-old, who can’t be named because she is on probation and in the care of Manitoba child welfare, opened her eyes and started talking on April 21, said her father.
APTN News first reported her story here: https://aptnnews.ca/2019/04/12/father-says-officials-ignored-daughters-health-concerns/
“What’s up, guys?” the teen says while smiling and laughing in a video her family posted to Facebook this week.
“I wanted to come online to say, ‘What’s up?’ to you guys.”
The girl, who is in a weakened physical state, gave her family a real fright, added her father.
“She had encephalitis,” he said, noting doctors say his daughter requires future surgery and physiotherapy to rebuild her strength.
The father, accompanied by his other children carrying homemade signs, held a news conference outside the Manitoba Youth Centre (MYC) Thursday afternoon.
He said that’s where his daughter was serving a short custodial sentence and first became ill. Upon her release, she was sentenced to serve a probationary period in a Winnipeg group home where he says her medical symptoms – fatigue, headaches and nausea – persisted.
He said he wants to hear from other youth who allege their medical needs “were ignored or neglected by MYC and (Child and Family Services) CFS.”
He said he formed a group on Facebook to collect accusations to help him see how big a problem this could be.
His said his daughter was admitted to hospital on April 1 after falling unconscious and didn’t regain consciousness until April 21.
He said MYC and group home staff accused his daughter “of faking” her symptoms to get out of schoolwork and chores.
“They acted like she was pretending,” he alleged.
Monitor the case
The office of the Manitoba Children’s Advocate continues to monitor the case.
“Our team is happy and relieved that there have been some positive developments in the situation and that the youth is receiving ongoing medical support,” said Ainsley Krone, the deputy Manitoba advocate for children and youth, in an email.
“We remain actively involved in this matter on a few fronts and per our legislation we will continue to monitor activities and decisions being made that impact the youth and her family.”
The father said he would have been lost without the assistance of the Advocate’s office.
“They’ve been making sure CFS does what it’s supposed to do,” he said, noting the agency responsible for his daughter has been funding his family’s hotel and meals.
The agency hasn’t responded to messages seeking comment from APTN.
A spokeswoman for Manitoba’s Families Minister Heather Stefanson said the department couldn’t comment on a specific case.
But a spokesperson for Manitoba Justice, child welfare and Health said care “is highly regulated and co-ordinated to help ensure individuals receive timely, appropriate” service.
Due to confidentiality restrictions. the spokesperson said no further information could be made available.