‘I may have to lose my child’

Mum Jackie with her daughter Chloe.
Mum Jackie with her daughter Chloe.
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A mum at the end of her tether says she fears she may have to put her disabled daughter into care unless she gets more support.

Jackie Hartley’s nine-year-old daughter Chloe is deaf, unable to walk, requires a ventilator and is fed through a tube – meaning she needs 24-hour care.

Jackie, 49, of Newton, near Kirkham, says she has been involved in a long battle with Lancashire County Council to get Chloe into specialised education.

And now she claims she could be forced to give up her daughter as she cannot cope.

Jackie said: “I love Chloe dearly and if I had the support I needed, I would be able to cope. But I have reached the end of my tether and I feel I have no choice but to put Chloe into care unless I get more support.”

The problems with Chloe’s schooling arose when she became poorly in March this year and ended up back in hospital.

After she returned home, she was going to school in Silverdale for three days a week, but Jackie decided to stop it as the daily commute was too exhausting for Chloe.

Jackie added: “Education and social services had a big meeting and telephoned me with a proposal for Chloe to go to Bleasdale School in Silverdale as a residential pupil and come home at the weekend.

“But they said that if I took this up, the social services care would be nil so I would have to look after her at the weekend.

“However, I agreed to take up this proposal, but when I asked for a start date, I did not get one. Chloe needs to be in education and is entitled to one just like any other child.

“I have reached the end of my tether with the lack of support I am getting and my futile fight to get Chloe an education.”

Ann Pennell, Lancashire County Council’s director of targeted and assessment services, says: “For reasons of confidentiality, we don’t comment on individual cases.

“In those cases where children have complex educational, health and social care needs, we work very closely with the family and colleagues from other organisations to make sure those needs are met fully.”

The family’s turmoil comes after Jackie and husband Lee found themselves with an horrendous choice to make when Jackie first became pregnant with twin girls following IVF treatment.

She said: “I was 19 weeks’ pregnant when I went for a scan which showed my twin babies had twin-to-twin transfusion which is when one twin is taking everything and the other gets nothing.

“We were so looking forward to them being born and had even picked their names – Rebecca and Chloe.

“When the doctors asked us to make a decision which baby to terminate to give the other the best chance, we were devastated. We felt we could not make that choice and decided to let nature take its course.”

Jackie was 24 weeks pregnant with the twins when a test showed one of the babies was in distress.

When Jackie was 26 weeks and six days into the pregnancy, she had to undergo an emergency Caesarean Section. Baby Rebecca was born first weighing just 650g and Chloe was born second at just 550g. Rebecca was transferred to a specialist unit at the former St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester. But she died when she was just a week old due to internal bleeding.

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