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Karina Hansen 5: A little progress?

October 12, 2016

KarinaHansenStockPicRegular readers of this blog will be familiar with Karina’s horrifying story. This update follows on from my series of posts, the most recent of which, Karina Hansen 4: Timeline, Torture and Tragedy, contains more detailed information. For the full history of the case, see Karina Hansen 2: the Ghost in the Room. For new readers, and those needing a reminder of events leading up to this point, this is a summary:

Brief re-cap 

Karina (pictured above left) lives in Denmark. In 2008, she was diagnosed with severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). The diagnosis was disputed and in February 2013, then aged 24, she was forcibly removed from home, where her family had been caring for her. She was taken to Hammel Neurocenter (part of “The Research Clinic for Functional Disorders” at Aarhus University Hospital).

Several doctors have been involved in her case but psychiatrists Nils Balle Christensen and Per Fink have dictated the overall course of her treatment at Hammel. Since shortly after her initial detention, she has been classed as a “voluntary” patient; she was found by a court subsequently to lack capacity to make her own decisions. As a result of that finding, the court appointed a legal guardian to take responsibility for her welfare.

Three years on, in February 2016, Karina remained a de facto prisoner of the state. She had been moved to a nearby “rehabilitation centre” but allowed very little contact with her family. Her father was permitted to visit her in December 2015. Whilst she was physically clean and cared-for, she was nevertheless in a wheelchair and unable to speak except for incomprehensible mumbling and grimaces. At that time, she did not appear to recognise her own father.

A change in circumstances

In recent weeks (September/October 2016), Karina’s parents have started being allowed by the Clinic to visit her. In theory, there was never any reason why they couldn’t see her during her whole time there. However, shortly after as she was taken to the Clinic by a team of police, doctors and social workers in February 2013, she became unable to speak or communicate and her phone disappeared. As a result, the guardian was appointed by the court (see previous posts) who then took decisions on her behalf. Despite repeated efforts, her family members were then allowed very few visits.

This refusal of visits was on the basis that Karina was extremely distressed and therefore unable to communicate a meaningful response when asked if she wished to see them. However, since I last wrote about Karina’s situation in April 2016, she has begun to be able to communicate more clearly, albeit only in nodding or shaking her head in response to questions. Subsequently, when asked if she wanted to see her parents, she indicated that she did and so the more frequent visits have now begun to take place.

It is not clear what has caused this shift in Karina’s circumstances at the Clinic. In my post Karina Hansen 3, I suggested that she might have been over-medicated; perhaps adjustments have been made to her dosage during recent months and this has increased her capacity to communicate. Interestingly, her phone has also resurfaced. A helpful member of staff at the Clinic, who had given Karina’s parents access to her, assisted her with setting up the address book in her phone again.

Whatever the reason, it seems that there is now a little progress in Karina’s condition. She is still in a wheelchair but becoming able to walk short distances with the aid of a walker.

Still an uncertain future

It is important to emphasise that there is still no clear prognosis, nor any indication of a more permanent change in Karina’s situation. Public speculation will not influence the eventual outcome and her family have requested that respect for their privacy is maintained for the foreseeable future.

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Disclosure

I have lived with the illness ME since 1981. For more information see About.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2016 10:47

    Reblogged this on Short Blogs for the Distracted……… and commented:
    Thank you for the update Valerie … still an appalling system that treats a very sick patient in this way ..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. October 12, 2016 18:46

    It is so good to hear even this little bit of good news which is so welcome.

    Like

  3. October 13, 2016 21:27

    This is great, I’m so glad to hear she is doing a little better and her family can visit her. Thanks for the update.

    Like

  4. October 26, 2016 11:28

    May ProHealth have reprint permission for HOMECOMING? We will provide attribution and a link back to this article. You can reach me at everrillo@yahoo.com

    Like

  5. November 17, 2016 02:39

    So happy to hear of the news that Karina is now home again, where she needs to be. ..and that she has made a little progress. Thanks to that kind staff member who helped facilitate Karina’s communication with her parents and others. God bless you Karina. I know you still have a long way to go but with the love of your family I believe you will keep making progress.
    Yes, actually, she probably was over medicated, and made into a zombie. This is typical in most institutions. ( I do have experience)
    All the very best Katrina and family.
    Kind regards,
    Lynne

    Like

  6. Shianne permalink
    December 1, 2016 01:59

    This is the greatest news ever, When I first read this story it devastated me. Since 1990, my life has been horrific. Reading how sick Katrina was and the things she was experiencing, sounded exactly like my suffering. What really broke my heart was reading about how she had to go live separate from others whom she loved because she could not handle NOISE or COMMOTION going on due to being so sick I know exactly how that feels when your brain feels like it’s swollen and sensitivity to sound, light and your nerve endings are fried. Almost death walking or should I say crawling or dragging yourself around. You feel nothing but misery, pain and weakness. The last thing you would ever imagine is for strangers to come in your home and take you. To take her away from her loved ones at a time when she is helpless and full of gloom and doom. This was just wrong on so many levels and a sin from hell!! Not only did she need her loved ones, they were suffering as well, Feeling helpless because you can’t help someone you love is bed enough as it is. This world and some people in it are going to HAVE to answer to our creator one day and I pray he has mercy on them. They don’t deserve it because they had absolutely none on this family. LEAVE THIS FAMILY ALONE !! You people whom ever you are have NO RIGHT to control another’s life. Even God lets us choose our way !! I’m thankful she is home but enraged at this situation. I pray this over you Katrina. Psalms 27: 5 In times of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion, in the secret of his tabernacle he shall hide me He shall set me high upon a rock. Bless you and may you get better with each passing day.

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Karina Hansen 4: Timeline, Torture and Tragedy | valerieeliotsmith
  2. Karina Hansen 1: Prisoner of Denmark | valerieeliotsmith
  3. Karina Hansen 3: Update March 2016 | valerieeliotsmith
  4. Karina Hansen | FibrOuch_ME/cfs BloG
  5. Karina Hansen 6: THE HOMECOMING | valerieeliotsmith
  6. Karina Hansen 6: The Homecoming – The York ME Community
  7. Karina Hansen 7: Update and Urgent Appeal | valerieeliotsmith

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