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Shocking story of young girl who died after mum faked her illness

Ali Condon

Published 
| Last updated 

Shocking story of young girl who died after mum faked her illness

Featured Image Credit: Gofundme/ Denver Police

Little Olivia Gant was just seven-years-old when she passed away after attending countless doctor's appointments, enduring a number of major surgeries, and being treated with intense medications.

The horrific thing is - the young girl was being treated for an illness that she never had in the first place.

It all started when Olivia was just two-years-old, and her mother, Kelly Renne Turner, took her to be treated for constipation and developmental delays.

Olivia died in 2017. Credit: GoFundMe
Olivia died in 2017. Credit: GoFundMe

Doctors in Colorado swiftly treated the toddler for the condition and she was sent home in no time.

But not too long after that, Olivia's mum brought her back for another doctor's visit, claiming that she was struggling to digest her food. This was the beginning of what would add up to hundreds of hospital visits for the next five years.

Kelly Renee Turner brought her child in for a number of serious operations, and claimed that Olivia was suffering from seizures, putting her on incredibly strong medication.

Over the course of Olivia's years of treatment, her mum blogged about the process online, gathering a crowd of dedicated followers and supporters who wanted to see the little girl get better.

Some medics were left stumped by Olivia's supposed health difficulties.

In 2014, a neurologist determined that the youngster wasn't getting seizures like her mum had claimed, and recommended that she stopped taking medication for it. Despite this, she remained on the heavy drug treatment up until her death.

Kelly was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Credit: Denver Police
Kelly was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Credit: Denver Police

That same year, Olivia was brought into hospital for constipation for a third time, and eventually underwent an ileostomy - a procedure that creates a hole in the abdomen so waste can be drained directly from the small intestine.

After having the operation, doctors noted that Olivia's constipation had improved, but her mum claimed that she was still not eating.

To treat this, Olivia was fitted with various feeding tubes, either through her abdomen or her nose.

Throughout this gruelling, painful process, Olivia's mum was documenting everything on social media, describing the devastating costs of Olivia's procedures, and raising money from friends and strangers. Overall, Kelly Renee Turner raised $22,000 on GoFundMe, claiming the money would go towards her daughter's treatments.

Olivia was subject to a series of intense medical procedures that she didn't need. Credit: GoFundMe
Olivia was subject to a series of intense medical procedures that she didn't need. Credit: GoFundMe

Eventually, Kelly informed her followers that her daughter had become terminally ill - a claim that there was no medical evidence of.

She spent the following months appealing to the public to help Olivia complete her bucket list of things she wanted to do before she died, including 'catch a bad guy with the police', and becoming a 'Bat Princess'.

The mission made Olivia and her mum overnight celebrities, as the public did their best to make the little girl's final wishes come true.

Kelly told her followers that doctor's attempts to keep her daughter alive were 'unfair' because she had no quality of life, and called for Olivia's feeding tubes to be removed. Doctors, who denied Kelly's claims, refused to remove the tubes.

In 2017, Kelly requested a do not resuscitate order for her daughter, should her breathing stop due to the intense dosage of opioids she was receiving. Olivia's care team also refused to sign this, so Kelly sought out another doctor who would.

By July, Kelly managed to convince doctors to withdraw all medical care, including removing her feeding tubes, which she could no longer survive without.

Members of the public did their part to help Olivia complete her bucket list before she passed. Credit: YouTube/Denver Police
Members of the public did their part to help Olivia complete her bucket list before she passed. Credit: YouTube/Denver Police

Olivia was moved to a hospice for her final days, where she was treated with pain medication and popsicles before she eventually passed away in August.

Some months later, a new primary care doctor discovered that Kelly had been lying about Olivia's sister, who she claimed had lymphoma. After the alarm was raised, a child abuse investigation began and Olivia's body was exhumed.

Tests revealed that Olivia never suffered from intestinal failure, or any of the other illnesses that her mum claimed she had.

It is believed that Kelly Renee Turner may have had Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental illness and form of child abuse that involves a parent or caregiver inducing an illness on their child to get attention.

In October 2019, Kelly was charged with first-degree murder, child abuse, and defrauding the Medicaid system of more than $538,000 (£446,000).

At first, the mum pleaded not guilty, but in 2022, she agreed to a plea deal and pleaded guilty to charges of negligent child abuse causing death, and charitable fraud.

This February, she was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Her surviving child is now in her grandparents' custody and has not reported any medical problems since.

Topics: Life, News

Ali Condon
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