Cassandra C, Teen Forced To Undergo Chemotherapy, Is In Remission
Cassandra C, the teenager who was removed from her mother’s custody and forced to undergo chemotherapy by a Connecticut court, is in remission.
Connecticut Court Orders Cassandra C To Have Chemo
Cassandra has been held in a hospital against her will for over 90 days, since the Connecticut Supreme Court ordered her to stay there under guard and continue chemotherapy. The ordeal began last fall, when Cassandra was diagnosed with a treatable case of Hodgkin lymphoma. But, instead of willingly beginning a doctor-recommended chemotherapy treatment, Cassandra insisted she wanted to pursue alternative treatments, with the full support of her mother, Jackie Fortin.
“I was concerned about the more serious long-term health issues because of the chemotherapy such as organ failure, heart complications, digestive issues and the possibility of developing another form of cancer – issues that I still worry about to this day,” Cassandra told NBC News in a recent interview.
When Cassandra refused chemotherapy, doctors contacted the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) citing medical neglect. The DCF conducted an investigation and filed to remove Cassandra from the custody of her mother. In January, Cassandra was removed from her mother’s home and placed in DCF custody, where she is to remain until her treatment is completed in April.
Cassandra C In Remission, Remains Hospitalized
Now that Cassandra is officially in remission, she is asking to be released into her mother’s custody early on the promise that she will continue to undergo treatment.
“I’m committed to finishing the rest of my chemo, which is 2 more cycles, March and April. I would love more than anything to be able to come home and to finish it all. I miss my life so dearly, especially my mom, my cat and my boyfriend,” Cassandra said.
It’s unclear whether or not Cassandra will be released into her mother’s custody. “We are very pleased with Cassandra’s progress toward a complete recovery. We understand how difficult this has been for Cassandra and her family, but we have had full confidence throughout that the medical professionals involved in her treatment would be successful in saving her life,” DCF Commissioner Joette Katz said Monday.
Prior to the custodial trial, Fortin had missed a string of medical appointments, prompting the state to feel she wasn’t providing adequate care for her child. And, according to a brief filed by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, doctors alleged that Cassandra herself had revealed that her mother was pressuring her not to undergo chemotherapy. “Interestingly enough, Cassandra also expressed concerns about not wanting to anger her mother because her mother was very distrustful of physicians.” Both mother and daughter have denied that Fortin had influenced Cassandra’s decision.