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Homecoming celebration held for Justina Pelletier

Teen Welcomed Home After Custody Battle With Hospital

BY MIKE KRAFCIK

NEW HAVEN– It's been two months since the custody battle over Justina Pelletier came to an end.
The West Hartford teenager endured 16 months of forced separation from her friends and family, including parents Lou and Linda, and sisters Jennifer, Jessica and Julia.



A judge granted her parents full custody back in June. It all began with a disagreement over the teen's medical diagnosis.

On Sunday night, a sweet sixteen and welcome home party was held for Justina Pelletier at Anthony's Ocean View in New Haven.

Justina's celebration was called the" Sparkling Homecoming Party." The party's theme, "no one can ever dull Justina's sparkle,"

Like most other teenagers who look forward to a party in their honor, Justina had anxiously anticipated this glittery celebration.

"They've treated me so well. I feel like I'm a princess with a tiara," said Justina.

The Celebration brought more than 100 people to the event which included an auction and raffle prizes.

"It's more of a welcome home party. She's missed so many holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Easter and all the religious holidays," said Lou Pelletier, Justina's father.

Justina's family, friends and her supporters– some came from other parts to the country to see Justina.

Several others who couldn't be there left their own video messages and words of encouragement. A man in one of the tributes told Justina "the sparkle of your spirit and your heart will make everything else seem dull."

"She's so happy to have people here that have been fighting for, friends, family, people she's never met before," said Lou Pelletier.

Sunday marked the first time state senator Joe Markley met Justina in-person.

State Sen. Markley helped work with the Massachusetts DCF and the state of Connecticut to help Justina get back home.

Justina was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by doctors at Tufts Medical Center years ago, a condition causing muscle pain and weakness.

When she was admitted to Boston Children's Hospital with the flu last year, doctors said she had somatoform disorder, a mental condition.

The custody battle began when her parents disagreed with a new medical diagnosis and were accused of medical child abuse.

"The situation was already happening when it came to my attention, so it's a pleasure to see her and to see her looking so good and looking so happy," said Sen. Markely.

Justina's parents say she has started physical therapy at home and will soon attend school in West Hartford.

"Right now getting her on a recovery trail, getting her through physical therapy and all those things going. It's going to be a long process," said Lou Pelletier.

The family hopes event's like Sunday's celebration will allow to build up more confidence after spending all that time in the hospital.

"It might take a long time, but I know I have a lot of people cheering me on," said Justina.

Justina and her family recently traveled to Washington D.C. to advocate for "Justina's Law"– a bill aimed at protecting children from a similar fate as Justina.

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Gary A. Skogebo August 19 2014 at 10:01 AM

This family has been financially ruined by Boston Childrens Hospital and the State of Massachusetts. I hope they sue the doctor and hospital up the yin yang and recover everything that was stolen from them. The doctor needs to be sanctioned and sued for malpractice, and then stripped of his license. He shouldn't be allowed to treat a cat.

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4 replies
patric9956 August 19 2014 at 7:01 AM

Great news for the family!! That the government could take custody of a child that was under excellent care by loving parents is a travesty and begs for remedy - either by legislation or voting the idiots out of office. We need to make these clowns (who we pay) accountable to us.

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4 replies
LA is Best August 19 2014 at 7:52 AM

Come on AOL why can't you tell the truth as to why Justina was released from the clutches of the evil Mass. Social Services and Boston Childrens? Pressure was put on Boston Childrens and SS through the Fox News Program Mike Huckabee!! More big government run amok!

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2 replies
Normie Baby LA is Best August 19 2014 at 1:35 PM

I don't care if the Devil himself came topside to help get her back with her family. As long as she's back home.

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1 reply
mark and sheri Normie Baby August 19 2014 at 10:13 PM

I'd draw the line before Ole Scratch. But anyone else, like Putin's Spetsnaz

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thebluecricket LA is Best August 19 2014 at 10:14 PM

It wasn't Mike Huckabee you moron...it was Glenn Beck that broke the story first. Get your act together. This family and their daughter were dragged through HELL because someone else thought they knew better. Thank GOD she's in the loving arms of her family once again and not some "guinea pig" to be toyed with in the name of ..."huh, what, well we thought, maybe"...

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theserxtremedays August 19 2014 at 8:31 AM

I hope they sue the crap out of that hospital for all the evils and wrongs they did to this family.

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MICHELLE August 19 2014 at 7:57 AM

Hopefully the doctor's and staff of Boston Children's Hospital are also being educated about mitochondrial disease, so that they will know it should they see it again - or at least know it is a possibility to be checked out before reporting other parents to DCF.

For now: Note to self, avoid Boston Children's Hospital. They do not seem to be as knowledgeable as they think they are.

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3 replies
muted3 August 19 2014 at 9:52 AM

Boston's Medical Hospital should have to face child abuse charges for their mistreatment of this young lady. They held her hostage out of spite and the judge that ruled that Justina must stay at this hospital should be disbarred. It was an abuse of power to keep her there and suffer their medical mistreatment. Thank goodness Justina has been returned to her family and that she is happy now.

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3 replies
pmjohnson1717 August 19 2014 at 8:24 AM

Proof that the government is full of liberal tyrants, egotistical maniacs and self righteous scum. Revolt must come soon or we are lost. Vote out all liberals.

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4 replies
cdrewparks889 August 19 2014 at 6:49 AM

No info, no links, nothing short of "hey this girl is coming home." Great reporting, honestly i'm pleased to realize that someone got paid to regurgitate this article. I would really like to know how a misdiagnosis could lead to a custody battle, guess i'll have to look elsewhere. Lazy reporting.

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3 replies
Fraginals5@aol.c August 19 2014 at 11:40 AM

Too much government involvement in private matters. There was no reason to take custody away from the parents. Child had a good medical advice, she was treated, and care for with the best available doctor's care. They should sued the doctors and the Hospital for malpractice.

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balaland August 19 2014 at 5:45 AM

Great that she's back with her parents and having a sweet sixteen party , what was the custody battle over Justina about ? ...More info please....

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2 replies
Dianne balaland August 19 2014 at 6:32 AM

It's extremely complicated. But, generally, since the parents, who were well informed about their daughters condition, disagreed with a doctor from Boston Childrens. That disagreement caused the State of Massachusetts to file charges against the parents - initiated by the hospital.
At no time was the girl ever abused by her parents. The BC doctor challenged the diagnosis of the families doctor, the girl was caught in the middle and paid for it by being taken away from her family in Connecticut and kept in a facility in Mass..
BTW- the BC doctor was wrong.

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3 replies
Pomeria balaland August 19 2014 at 2:21 PM

balaland, Look it up yourself. It has been in the news for months. Have you been out of the country? Was on Fox news quite a lot.

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2 replies
sulandherb Pomeria August 19 2014 at 3:18 PM

what a helpful person you are

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balaland Pomeria August 19 2014 at 11:08 PM

I don't watch Fox news....Yes I'm guilty sue me , oh thanks for nothing....

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