Decision: Marie's mother Jo pictured said everyone blamed her for her daughter's Jekyll and Hyde-type behaviour and she thought she might be mentally ill. All eyes were on mother-of-three Jo Griffiths as she stood in her local supermarket, cringing with embarrassment and willing the ground to open and swallow her up. On a previous trip to the supermarket, Marie had left an old lady reeling with shock after hitting her with a plastic milkshake bottle for no reason.
She had reasoned with her, pleaded, imposed time-outs and consequences, rewarded her with star charts, and at times — out of sheer frustration — shouted at her. Nothing had worked. Unpredictable: Marie who was 13 years old when she went into care her face pixelated with Mark and May.
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No one wants to give a child that label, and professionals are naturally very worried about getting it wrong. On another occasion, Marie had run away from home — it was not for the first time — and had been found by a Good Samaritan walking down a dual carriageway, shoeless and half-dressed, having thrown her clothes away en-route.
The reason? She was angry because her Mum was too busy to get her a drink. Marie was 13 years old when Jo and her husband Peter could take no more and did the unthinkable.
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Unable to cope, they made the agonising decision to put Marie into the care of the local authorities. We let her go for her own safety and to protect our two younger children. Jo told her year-old that she was going on a holiday, which the youngster accepted equably. She had no idea that she was moving out of the family home permanently. I loved my daughter to bits, but by the time she went I was just so worn down. I think I understood for the first time in my life what the word estranged means. Yet when Jo gave birth to Marie in , she could never have imagined that their relationship would reach such a desperate low.
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She was floppy and unresponsive, and the doctors never worked out what was wrong with her. She always seemed to have a running nose, and she suffered from glue ear, when the middle ear fills with fluid. At 18 months, a health visitor noticed Marie had very poor fine motor skills. Later, when speech was delayed, she was sent to a specialist nursery to help her catch up before starting mainstream school. Teachers complained that Marie was taking scissors into the playground, hitting and threatening other children, opening the toilet door when another child was inside.
Before long it was a whole page in red ink. At age seven, we took her out of school because she was going to be expelled anyway. Bipolar disorder, known in the past as manic depression, is a condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another. If you have bipolar disorder, you will have periods or 'episodes' of:. Depression - where you feel very low and lethargic. Mania - where you feel very high and overactive less severe mania is known as hypomania. Kirsty knew one thing: Hannah deserved to decide her own destiny. Wise beyond her years after learning to cope with so much, Hannah made her choice: she did not want the transplant.
She'd had enough of hospitals and wanted to be at home with her family. Days later Hannah celebrated her 14th birthday — a milestone she was never expected to reach — and Hannah was ready to make a different choice. She agreed to have the transplant. Now Kirsty and Hannah tell their unique story and, with wit and honesty, their interweaving voices describe how facing and overcoming death has taught them so much about living. Filled with wisdom and grace, tears and laughter, Hannah's Choice is about beating the odds and finding joy in each day. Sing You Home. Jodi Picoult.
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