Baby removed from parents over ‘abuse’ is found to have rare bruising condition

Posted April 27, 2017

Published by itv, 27 April 2017

A baby who was removed from her parents when they were accused of abusing her has a rare condition which causes “easy bruising”.

Social services bosses had been attempting to have little Effie put into council care after she collapsed when about five months old in August 2016.

Her father Craig Stillwell was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm as officials believed Effie had been shaken.

Effie’s mother Carla Andrew and Mr Stillwell, both in their early twenties, lived through months of “unimaginable horror”, Judge Karen Venables said during a family court hearing in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

Experts have now established that Effie suffers from vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) – a condition characterised by “thin and translucent skin, easy bruising, vascular and arterial rupture”.

Detail of the case has emerged in a ruling by Judge Venables, who named Effie and her parents after they asked her to deliver an “open judgement” to encourage discussion of vEDS.

The judge also revealed it was bosses at Buckinghamshire County Council who had launched family court proceedings.

Effie was the first child diagnosed with vEDS to be subject of a family court “forensic inquiry”, the judge added.

She said Effie’s mother had also been diagnosed as suffering from EDS.

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