Mother puts epileptic daughter in dog cage to "keep her safe"

The mother of a 10-year-old epileptic girl says she made her daughter sleep in a dog cage because it's all she could do to keep her safe. The child suffers from West Syndrome, a rare disease with severe learning disabilities and challenging behavior that keeps her up at night and causes her to bang her head against the walls. The fear that she might escape her room and seriously hurt herself led her mom to request a special bed from the Edinburgh Council in Scotland. When the council refused to fund a padded cot for the child, she took drastic measures to protect her daughter.

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Little Sadie Fenton Hunt had to sleep like an animal just because her mom couldn't afford a special bed for her and the request didn't meet the council's "funding criteria." I can't imagine being up all night every night fretting over my child's safety and if she's going to accidentally injure herself. I would be driven mad from worry and insomnia, which would then make me less able to care for her properly. On top of that, having to cage up my child as if she were an animal would just break my heart. Granted, we have to admit cribs and playpens are also a bit jail-like, but at least those are much more comfortable than a metal pen. My first thought was why didn't they put her in a crib, but at her age, she could probably climb right out and get into who knows what trouble around the house. Sadie's mother really felt she had no choice but to lock up her child at night and while some people might raise an eyebrow to the temporary solution, I can understand why she did it. Her daughter's safety came first.

Luckily, the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children offered a loan to pay for the equipment and Sadie's mom set up a JustGiving page to raise the money needed for the bed. But even happier news arrived shortly after the family started getting more media attention: the Edinburgh Council decided to fund Sadie's new bed after all! Now extra money raised through their crowd funding efforts will help other children with disabilities throughout Edinburgh.

Image via Corbis

Topics: child  childcare  children  children with disabilities  children with special needs  controversy