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Guy Accused Of ‘Kidnapping’ His Teen Sister After Their Parents Refuse To Help Her After Surgery

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It’s hard to see our loved ones in pain, and when we feel like there’s something more we could do, we often feel morally obligated to do something about it.

That was one young man’s experience recently on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

After seeing his sister receiving subpar post-op care, Redditor AITA_take_no_care decided to step in.

But when he was criticized for what he did, the Orginal Poster (OP) wondered if he’d made the wrong decision.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for ‘kidnapping’ my sister because my parents weren’t helping her post-surgery?” 

The OP’s parents didn’t step up when his younger sister recently went through major surgery. 

“My (21 [male]) sister (14 [female]) recently had to have a cholecystectomy, also known as open gallbladder surgery.”

“My parents haven’t always been the nicest people in the world but I thought they would at least change a bit now.”

“They were pretty mean throughout the entire time, such as complaining about her complaining of discomfort, yelling about how hard it was to help her up, etc.”

“I came to help post-op and the entire time, they weren’t getting her or helping her or getting her anything.”

“I was always there to help her.”

The OP finally couldn’t watch anymore. 

“I had to go do something for work and came back to finding her attempting to get out of bed to refill her water bottle, obviously struggling to do so and balling her eyes out.”

“This was my last straw and I asked her if she wanted to stay over at my place for recovery and she said yes.”

The parents didn’t react well to the plan.

“My parents didn’t even find out till like an hour or so later.”

“They were upset and we argued and went back and forth and they accused me of kidnapping and manipulation until I hung up.”

“But I’m starting to think I was excessive and reacted too emotionally.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some recommended the OP to contact someone for help.

“NTA.”

“You are being a good brother and watching out for your sister who clearly needed help she wasn’t getting at home.”

“If your parents might actually call the police and report it as kidnapping, make sure you do your research to protect both you and your sister.”

“They’d have a tough time actually proving kidnapping since your sister wanted to go with her and at 14 she’s old enough to have a say in where she goes, especially if she were to refuse to let the cops take her back home. They might still be able to get you on harboring a runaway though.”

“If your parents always/often treat her badly enough, you could always try getting child services involved and try to get custody of your sister.”7thatsanope

“NTA. If you have the desire and resources to do so, consider reporting your parents for abuse/neglect and trying to get custody of your sister. No one should be treated so horribly in such a vulnerable state.”bytesoflife

“If OP tells CPS that they didn’t even realize that their BEDRIDDEN AND RECOVERING DAUGHTER was gone from the house for over an hour, that’ll work in their case. That’s neglect and could work in their favor.”Silverfrond_

Others wanted the OP’s sister incision to be checked after trying to get up. 

“I insisted on getting up to use the toilet after my appendectomy when I was 10. It was excruciating, probably some of the worst pain I’ve ever had, and I passed out on the floor of the toilet.”

“OP’s sister could have really hurt herself, like ripped stitches, or passed out like I did and hit her head.”

“100% NTA. Terrible parents. I can’t imaging not caring about family members and ignoring them in need.”RegularWhiteShark

“Health comes first.”

“Having her needs ignored after surgery is a good way to end up dead of internal bleeding or sepsis. If she’s not getting her health needs met and you are willing and able to do so, do it.”

“Don’t apologize for putting her health first, it’s what any good parent would do, and it’s what your parents should be doing.”

“I can’t speak for legally, but morally OP is 100% in the right.”ArsenicandRoses

Some were appalled by the parents’ behavior. 

“OMG I have had my gallbladder out and I could NOT move right after, it was such a hard recover for me. I am almost twice your sisters age and I fully understand the pain she is going though.”

“Your parents are the a**holes here for not helping her. I have a high pain tolerance, I was in so much pain I cried for the first few nights after it was done. I can not imagine how hard it is on your lil sister.”

“NTA your parents are a**holes, what kind of parents expect their kid to suffer because it is ‘hard’ on them after their kid has surgery. I feel like thats borderline abusive behavior from your parents.”NiteGrimwood

“Gentle correction, it is abusive. Who would look at their suffering daughter and think that was possibly okay? What possible major inconvenience could it cause for them to get their daughter, who they know is recovering from surgery, a hot water bottle?”

“It’s absolutely abusive, to look at their own child suffering and choose to do nothing.”shakeastick

“I had a similar surgery and I couldn’t lay down for like 2 weeks because my abdomen hurt so much to get up from a laying position (and I was constantly on two types of pain medication and it STILL hurt to get up).”

“I don’t think I can even really describe what it’s like to someone who hasn’t experienced it. Luckily my husband helped me (literally to even get off the couch he basically had to pull me up by my arms) with everything and was generally amazing.”

“These parents are horrible and cruel. Hopefully this poor kid gets help from her brother. I can’t imagine how they usually treat her if this is what they do post op major surgery.”robots-dont-say-ye

The subReddit was in absolute agreement that the OP did the right thing by taking in and caring for his sister, especially during as gruelling of a time as post-op.

Some suggested taking steps to document the situation, or to even attempt to adopt his sister formally, but no matter what additional steps the OP takes, the sub overwhelmingly agreed that the OP took the right first step.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.