A court sentenced a Florida mother to 12 years in prison for poisoning her infant daughter. Shauna Taylor, of Macclenny, Florida, gave birth to the infant in November 2012. By winter 2013, she took the girl to the hospital three separate times. Doctors say Taylor exaggerated and falsified symptoms of the girl. During the third visit, the baby went into liver failure for unexplained reasons. Through an investigation, Doctors and authorities learned she had Munchausen-by-proxy.
When Taylor gave birth to the girl in November 2012, the infant was born prematurely. After spending around three months in the hospital, the staff released the baby to Taylor. Following the infant’s release, Taylor returned to the hospital three times with the infant. The first two visits doctors felt the symptoms were exaggerated by Taylor.
However, the situation changed on the Taylor’s third trip to the emergency room. She said her daughter was having issues breathing and eating. This time the 3-month-old was showing signs of liver failure. Doctors performed multiple invasive medical tests to determine the cause of the failure.
The same time they searched for an answer, concerned friends of Taylor’s contacted an anonymous child abuse hotline. They told the hotline that Taylor had a history of abusing her children and has Munchausen-by-proxy.
Munchausen-by-proxy or medical child abuse is a mental illness where a caregiver acts like a child is sick when they are not sick. Individuals will often manipulate or harm the child to make them appear ill to medical staff. People with this disorder need for their child to be sick.
Victims of Munchausen-by-proxy are generally under the age of 6 years old. Their abusers’ are most often their mothers.
After authorities received the reports, they looked into the allegations against Taylor. They located a GoFundMe set up to help with medical expenses for the girl. Police also learned she had a history of medical child abuse. Court records showed her parental rights were terminated for her other nine children.
When they learned of the information, they tested the child for poisons that could damage the liver. The child’s iron levels were extremely high. Doctors determined the mother was using Tylenol to poison the girl. Police told New4Jax in August 2018 that Taylor gave the infant Tylenol in the hospital. Under hospital supervision and observation, the infant’s health improved.
According to reports, the girl now almost six years old is doing well. Taylor no longer has custody of any of her ten children. For now, the children are safe from their mother.
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