by Steven Ertelt
February 27, 2006
Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) — Haleigh Poutre, the little Massachusetts girl who was put into a hospital after she was physically abused by her stepparents, turned 12 years-old. Poutre, who is receiving physical therapy now, reached her birthday Friday and her birthmother was prevented from visiting her.
Poutre was the subject of a national euthanasia debate recently when state officials sought to remove her from life support. As they battled her stepfather in court, Poutre began breathing on her own and showing signs of possibly recovering from the coma.
The girl was placed in a hospital in September after being beaten by her stepmother, who later killed herself in an apparent suicide. Poutre had been subjected to physical abuse for some time.
About a week after taking custody of her, state officials sought to deny her life support. Haleigh was admitted to the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Boston and Department of Social Services officials tell the Boston Globe she is in medically stable condition.
After making a partial recovery, Poutre has been receiving physical, speech, and occupational therapy.
Haleigh’s birth mother, Allison Avrett, has been allowed to visit her every other week for 15 minutes, but was not allowed to deviate from that schedule to be with her on her birthday.
"We’ve established a visiting schedule months ago and we’re going to keep it that way," DSS spokeswoman Denise Monteiro told the Globe.
Monteiro told the Globe that DSS authorities tried to contact Avrett’s attorney, Wendy Murphy, but Murphy says she never heard from the agency.
"Allison is frustrated," Murphy said, according to the Globe report. "She wants to do what is best for Haleigh."