The teenager undergoing forced chemotherapy will be discharged from the hospital soon, but it won't be the end of her treatment, according to the Department of Children and Families.
In a statement to NBC Connecticut, DCF officials said they are exploring options for Cassandra C. to live in a specialized group home.
“Cassandra is able to leave the hospital because her next chemotherapy treatment will not occur for several weeks. However, there are other medical treatments that are required for Cassandra to continue her progress toward recovery. The group home we are considering has the medical staff available to provide those treatments,” DCF said.
Court documents show DCF took custody of the 17-year-old when she ran away from home after two days of chemotherapy and missed medical appointments. Her mother, Jackie Fortin, plans to fight those claims.
“We never blew off appointments,” said Fortin. “Did we have to reschedule some because of our work schedule? Absolutely.”
Fortin believes she can provide the best treatment for her daughter, who should continue chemotherapy where she’s most comfortable.
“And I had expressed this to DCF,” said Fortin. “If she has to continue doing treatment while we’re proceeding with legal procedures going forward, she should be home.”
Still, DCF stands firm on its decision to keep custody of Cassandra. In the department documents presented to the State Supreme Court, DCF nurse Kimberly Kanatis sheds light on several situations in which Cassandra and her mother delayed treatment despite the diagnosis.
“The Pet Scan was originally scheduled for 10/21/14,” Kanatis wrote. “Ms. [Fortin] cancelled this. Ms. [Fortin] did not attend the scheduled CT Scan appointment on 10/20/14. It should be noted these appointments were made by Dr. Richardson because Ms. [Fortin] did not follow through scheduling them.”