Karina Driscoll Image caption
Croydon mum facing court battle to keep seriously ill child
The mother of a seriously ill girl is facing a court battle to keep custody of her daughter.
Melody Driscoll, 11, from Croydon, made headlines when singer Ed Sheeran visited her at Epsom Hospital.
She suffers from a range of complex medical conditions and is at King’s College Hospital (KCH) – where Karina Driscoll fears she is “fading away”.
Croydon Council is taking legal action on advice from KCH, which says Melody’s parents are “obstructing her care”.
To prevent Melody being taken into foster care, Mrs Driscoll is seeking the help of the solicitors who represented Charlie Gard’s parents in their battle to prolong the life of their baby son.
Staff at KCH have told Croydon Council that Mrs Driscoll, 35, and her husband Nigel Driscoll are “refusing to co-operate with Melody’s care plan”.
One of the conditions Melody suffers from includes Rett syndrome, a rare and life-limiting genetic disorder that causes mental and physical disability.
Mrs Driscoll says the main part of the care plan is to ease Melody off of painkillers – which is against their wishes.
She added: “Melody is fading away in front of us – I have no idea how much longer we have left with her.
“They say they want to give her a quality of life, but she’s constantly in pain and needs the painkillers.”
KCH said “all decisions” taken by its expert clinical team were in its “patients’ best interests”.
Mrs Driscoll was sent a letter from Croydon Council on 28 December, informing her of a plan to begin court proceedings.
“It has torn our family to shreds – our family is just plagued by bad luck,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Croydon Council said: “It is always very difficult for all concerned to ensure the right decisions are made for children who have complex health and care needs when there are differing medical options.
“We will always seek to work with parents and hear the views of the child and the family.”
Source: BBC News