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Mom Arrested For Faking 10-Year-Old Daughter’s Illnesses To Get Her Unnecessary Surgeries

Milwaukee County Jail

Alisha Newman, 34, mother of three, and a licensed nurse, was charged with multiple counts of child abuse and child neglect by the Milwaukee County Circuit Court on May 28.

Newman’s 10-year-old daughter’s medical record was falsified by her mother on repeated counts in multiple states. This led to unnecessary and potentially fatal procedures performed on the child, including an IV port, pacemaker, and feeding tube.

The truth about Newman’s crimes began to unfold on May 7, when she took her daughter to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to see a pediatric gastroenterologist. It has been reported that during this appointment, the child had pale and ashen skin, and appeared severely ill.

The daughter was admitted to the pediatric ICU, and she was diagnosed as being in severe shock, with acute renal failure, organ damage, and acidosis.

The worst part—this was not her first visit for such a diagnosis.

Five weeks before, the child was hospitalized over in Oklahoma for Klebsiella Sepsis and Bacteremia, both of which were treated with antibiotics. She was hospitalized for 21 days before appearing in a hospital again on May 7 in Wisconsin.

It was due to the second hospital admission that doctors began to take notice.

While the daughter was hospitalized at Children’s Hospital, Newman told the medical staff that her daughter had been diagnosed with Dysautonomia, Muscular Dystrophy, Mitochondrial Disease, Hypertension and Hypotension, and Severe Dysmotility.

These claims by Newman drew the attention of the medical officials at the hospital, because the daughter’s health had been evaluated previously.

While in the ICU in Wisconsin, medical staff confirmed that a team of physicians had ruled out Muscular Dystrophy and Mitochondrial Disorders as possible diagnoses for the child. Seeing the child return to the hospital with repeated gastrointestinal problems and a list of diagnoses that had been disproven put the medical team on the alert.

Also in the ICU in Wisconsin, the daughter was evaluated further and tested negative for any rare disorders.

Her medical records were also reviewed, and it has become clear that Newman gave false or misleading information to doctors in Ohio, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina, and Tennessee, as a means to acquire unnecessary medical procedures for her daughter.

It has been suggested by the medical examiner at Children’s, Alyssa Stephany, that Newman and her daugher’s relationship may be a case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. In these cases, the parent may lie, exaggerate, act out, or physically cause the symptoms they claim their children to have, as a means to receive pity or attention.

Due to severe public backlash, Newman has privatized her Facebook posts and photos. However, according to earlier reports, she made a habit of posting images of her daughter in the hospital, as well as medical updates.

This could be an extension of her Munchausen Syndrome, by posting frequent updates for all to see, in various hospitals.

However, this is much more serious than someone who exaggerates the truth when around friends and family, or who creates the perfect social media profile, as a means to draw attention to themselves. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy involves who would be a normal, healthy child, who is made ill by unnecessary medicinal procedures.

Newman is being held at the Milwaukee County Jail and will appear at her preliminary hearing on June 7.

Some onlookers have recently taken to Twitter to discuss the mother’s actions, Munchausen Syndrome, and even medical practices:

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

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.