Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Update: Autistic girl makes ‘miracle’ recovery after alleged murder-suicide attempt by mom

See original post HERE.

What a relief for everybody involved--including the justice system in Michigan--that Issy didn't die. It's quite possible that jail is actually easier for Kelli Stapleton than dealing with her violent daughter. Kelli was twice hospitalized after being beaten by Issy. I can understand that Kelli may have felt that life was impossible for herself and her daughter. Also, we now know that the local school had refused to allow Issy to attend at all. Kelli might not be the only person facing legal consequences in this case.

Autistic girl makes ‘miracle’ recovery after alleged murder-suicide attempt by mom
Issy Stapleton, 14, is up and about after being unresponsive and removed from life support. Charged with attempted murder, mom Kelli Stapleton remains behind bars in northern Michigan.
By Deborah Hastings
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS September 9, 2013

Fourteen-year-old Issy Stapleton, a violently autistic child whose mother allegedly tried to kill her in a botched murder-suicide attempt, is now walking, talking and smiling.

According to a family Facebook post, the girl’s recovery “is nothing short of a miracle,” her father, Matt, wrote Monday.

She was removed from life support Friday in the intensive care unit of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., where doctors concluded she had suffered brain damage and was unable to breathe on her own.

After her ventilator was turned off, Issy began breathing. By Saturday, she was awake, asking questions and “showing signs of the incredible young woman she is,” her dad wrote.

Mom Kelli Stapleton, 45, has been charged with attempted murder. The mother and daughter were found unconscious last Tuesday inside the family van, in which authorities say two charcoal grills had been lit and the windows rolled up.

Both were rushed to the hospital for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Kelli Stapleton is currently jailed without bail in northern Michigan, according to state police Lt. Kip Belcher. Her family has declined comment.

"We ask that you continue to keep the focus on Isabelle's recovery and not necessarily on the events that have brought us to this unfortunate fight for her life," the family posted on its Facebook site "Team Issy."

"We ask that people don't judge, but instead direct their positive energies on the recovery of this beautiful young lady."

Just hours before the mother allegedly ignited both cooking grills found smoldering inside the family van, she had picked up Issy from a residential care facility where the girl had received nearly two months of intensive therapy for violent outbursts associated with her extreme autism.

Her family had long struggled with Issy’s lashing out. Her mother had been hospitalized twice following beatings by Issy, according to The Status Woe blog site maintained by Kelli Stapleton, whose musings about caring for an autistic child vacillated from despair to hopefulness to just plain fed up.

In June, she posted photos and video of a visit to her daughter at the care facility, showing mother, daughter and two therapists seated together.


The soundless video soon becomes violent as Issy hits her mother and slaps and claws at the three adults.

“I retreated to the corner and refused to look so I wouldn’t reinforce Issy’s aggression,” her mother wrote. “I’m here to tell you that Carly and all of Issy’s workers are superheroes. Honest to God. They were both bleeding before it was over.”

Last week, on the day she picked up Issy to take her home for the first time in months, Kelli Stapleton sounded distraught as she recounted a recent argument with a school teacher who told her Issy could not return.

“So less than a week before school is to start, she is uninvited,” the mother wrote on her blog. “I am devastated. My husband is gutted. I have ruined everything.”

Around 6:30 p.m., officers found Kelli and Issy Stapleton in the family’s van, parked in a rural area near Lake Michigan.

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