These loving parents have finally been reunited with their baby daughter after being wrongly accused of child abuse.
It’s hard to imagine anything more horrendous than being wrongly accused of abusing your own child, but unfortunately, this was the case for this couple.
Craig Stillwell and Carla Andrews have just spent nine months under investigation, accused of shaking their baby, after their daughter Effie, suffered a bleed on the brain, the Mirror reports.
Horrifyingly for the couple, doctors thought Effie’s bruising was a sign of abuse, however after investigation it emerged their daughter actually has a rare condition, causing ‘easy bruising’.
Thankfully, the case against Craig and Carla has now been dropped after medical evidence revealed the baby girl has a disease called EDS IV.
I just wanted it out in the open that we were found innocent and I don’t really want other parents that may have it to go through the same thing.
After a gruelling 11-day-hearing at Milton Keynes Family Court, the allegations have been withdrawn and Effie has been returned to her parents.
During the hearing it was revealed that Carla had Ehlers Danlos syndrome and after tests on Effie, doctors realised she too had a similar condition.
This means she is much more liable to her skin bruising easily and her blood vessels and organs at worrying risk of rupturing. The whole devastating scenario started out after Effie collapsed last August, becoming ‘stiff then floppy and gasping for air.’
Shockingly, paramedics thought she looked dead already, but at the hospital, she was diagnosed with a bleed on the brain.
Already horrified, the nightmare got worse when Craig was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm and then re-arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.
The judge said:
Effie was a much loved and much wanted baby, who had made a full recovery.
She was a precious baby, adored by both parents, who acted entirely appropriately, and worked openly with doctors when she was admitted to hospital.
After living with her foster carers, Effie’s condition became even more apparent, as she was admitted to hospital twice.
The first was for a swelling on her head and the second, when her eyes glazed over and she projectile vomited.
Mr Stillwell said:
We have been to hell and back fighting to get our daughter back, it has been every parent’s nightmare.
Being accused of hurting your baby when your love them more than anything in the world is excruciating.
Now, Effie’s parents are keen to spread awareness about EDS and what they’ve been through so a case like this is less likely to happen again.