An Austin, Texas mom was charged last week in Ohio after prosecutors say she made her 3-year-old son’s neurofibromatosis diagnosis seem worse than it was both to doctors in several states as well as for two GoFundMe campaigns.
Neurofibromatosis is — according to Mayo Clinic since I’m not a doctor — a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. The tumors are usually benign, however some can become cancerous.
Monika Burgett has been charged with felonious assault, endangering children and telecommunications fraud. The indictment states that she told doctors her son was in pain, which led to him being given excessive and unnecessary doses of narcotic painkillers, as well as placement of feeding and oxygen tubes which were not required.
Let’s talk about that telecommunications fraud charge, though, this being Gofraudme and all. Burgett is accused of falsifying and exaggerating her son’s medical problems on two different GoFundMe pages, which netted her around $41,000. On those pages, she allegedly shaved her son’s head and posted pictures alluding to the fact that her son was suffering from terminal cancer. According to prosecutors, the little boy wasn’t on chemo and therefore there was no explanation for the hair loss, other than the fact that Burgett intentionally exaggerated his condition.
Both GoFundMe campaigns have been removed from the site because of course they were. We were, however, able to track down this Facebook post:
It appears Burgett is also co-founder of Cheer Up Buttercups, a “A Parenting Consulting Company that specializes in post-natal services, such as sleep consulting, potty training and lactation support.” Her bio does not appear on the website, however earlier Facebook posts refer to her as owner and co-founder. We have reached out to Cheer Up Buttercups for comment but as yet have not been able to touch base.
The boy is currently in foster care and doing much better. Meanwhile, Burgett will be back in court on August 23.
Update: A Cheer Up Buttercups spokesperson had this to say about their affiliation with Burgett: “Ms. Burgett is no longer affiliated with Cheer Up Buttercup as of this year. She was a cofounder who helped launch the company, but has not been involved in day-to-day operations since the beginning.”