Published: December 2004
A young girl is perched on yet another doctor s examining table, missing yet another day of school. Just 12 years old, she s tall, skinny and weak. It's 4 pm and she hasn't eaten anything all day. Her mother, on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She s about to suggest open heart surgery on her child to get to the bottom of this . She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. This child will not ruin her plans. From early childhood, Julie Gregory was continually x-rayed, medicated and operated on in the vain pursuit of an illness that was all in her mother s mind. Munchausen by proxy (MBP) is the world s most dangerous form of child abuse, in which the caretaker almost always the mother invents or induces symptoms in her child because she craves attention from medical professionals. Most MBP children die. Julie Gregory not only found the courage to survive, but to save others.