Sarah’s heart sinks when she thinks about how her stepdaughter Rachel* cut up her own belly when she was eight months pregnant and refused to hold Jack when he was first born.
Sarah’s heart sinks when she thinks about how her stepdaughter Rachel* cut up her own belly when she was eight months pregnant and refused to hold Jack when he was first born.

Why did mummy try to drown me?

WHY did mummy try to drown me?"

Sarah* has no idea how to answer her six-year-old grandson Jack*.

Her heart sinks when she thinks about how her stepdaughter Rachel* cut up her own belly when she was eight months pregnant and refused to hold Jack when he was first born.

Or how Rachel ignored his cries, abused him, starved him and locked him in a room all night while she went out to work until 4.30am.

"She'd had mental health issues all her life," Sarah said of Rachel, who she'd raised since she was six-years-old.

"She was off her medication while she was pregnant.

"Post-partum depression hit very quickly and she was bipolar and things went downhill."

Rachel's mood swings spiralled out of control until one day her stepbrother came home in hysterics saying Rachel had picked up then two-year-old Jack and thrown him across the room telling him she wished he was dead.

"My son came in and said 'she's killing him, she's killing him'," Sarah said.

Sarah and her husband took Jack home with them and phoned child services.

"They said a family member would need to remove him, which I did," Sarah said.

"Then they said there was nothing they could do because it was the first complaint that was made and that it would take about 18 months to move forward.

"I said: 'he'll be dead in 18 months.'"

After trying to get Rachel help, Sarah found out the extent of the abuse and that Rachel had even tried to drown Jack.

Rachel took off to Sydney and that's the last Sarah has heard from her.

Since then, Jack, who turns seven this year, has lived with Sarah and her husband full-time.

He has been diagnosed with PTSD, child trauma syndrome and he could also be bipolar.

He sees a child psychiatrist and paediatrician.

"He suffers a great deal of anxiety because of the rejection," Sarah said.

"Intellectually he is doing okay but he is functioning at a two to three-year-old level emotionally and socially."

Sarah said she received absolutely no support from government and discussions with Centrelink had been "the biggest waste of time."

"I'm not asking for the government to pay everything," she said.

"But I haven't fostered him. I've taken him on full-time because he's my grandson and I'm happy to do that. I'm just asking for a little help and for the government to understand that I didn't choose to have this child. I didn't plan for this."

Mundingburra MP Coralee O'Rourke, who is also Communities Minister, said she had "numerous conversations" with local seniors about the issue but that's why her department ran the "Time for Grandparents Program".

"A statewide phone number and website have also been established for grandparents to connect with information advice and referrals.

The Grandparent Information Queensland line can be accessed via the Seniors Enquiry Line on 1300 135 500 or viawww.grandparentsqld.com.au

*For legal reasons the names in the story have been changed to protect the identity of the sources.

News Corp Australia


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