• Prayer vigil held for Justina Pelletier


    FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- About 30 people attended a prayer vigil Saturday for Justina Pelletier.

    The group, which included some state legislators, met in front of the Framingham social service facility where Pelletier is staying. They are calling for the West Hartford girl to be returned to her family in Connecticut.

    Justina was previously diagnosed with mitochondrial disorder, a chronic illness that affects how cells produce energy. While staying at Children's Hospital in Boston last year, the teen was instead diagnosed with a psychological illness known as somatoform disorder.

    When Pelletier's parents tried to discharge her, the hospital filed medical child abuse charges and DCF took away custody.

    DCF announced Friday that they are actively looking to move Pelletier back to Connecticut to a placement closer to home. A family spokesperson said it's not the geography the family cares about so much as regaining custody of their daughter.

    "We are here under the simple premise: parents should decide what is best for their children, not government officials and not courts. It is up to the parents to decide what is the best care and treatment for their children," said Rev. Patrick Mahoney.

    The Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, where Justina is currently living, put out a statement Saturday afternoon saying they provide excellent care tailored to each child's individual needs. They add that their goal is to stabilize youth and facilitate family reunification.

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