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Family battling Massachusetts hospital to bring daughter home

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WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A West Hartford family has been fighting to bring their 15-year-old daughter home.

Her family and friends been without her for 10 months now because she's been stuck in a Boston Hospital.

It's now become a custody battle between the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and her parents.

The fate of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier was supposed to be decided by a Boston judge Friday, however, he postponed the decision until after the new year.

The decision means it's yet another holiday Pelletier will be missing out on. 

"Now again Christmas comes along and we're, we're broken," said Justina's sister, Jessica Pelletier.

Not one Christmas decoration adorns the Pelletier's home in West Hartford. Instead pictures and posters drawn by their youngest were tacked up. 

"Mommy, I love you so much and miss you so much," one drawing stated. 

"We just don't know what to do anymore," Jessica Pelletier said. "We just want to get her home."

The saga goes back to February. The 15-year-old was getting treated for Mitochondrial Disease, which affects the muscles.

When symptoms grew worse, Justina Pelletier ended up at Boston Children's Hospital. Doctors there came up with a startling diagnosis. They said Justina wasn't physically sick, but mentally sick with Somatoform Disorder. It's a mental illness where someone actually experiences physical pain.

When her parents tried to take her out of the hospital, they were stopped.

"All of a sudden before I know it, there were security guards everywhere," Jessica Pelletier said. "I mean we had the whole hospital around us."

The Pelletiers said they're being accused of medical child abuse and they're now fighting with DCF for custody. Since then, all phone calls and visitations have been strictly monitored. Justina Pelletier has been moved to the psych ward.

Jessica Pelletier said her sister has lost so much weight and hair. She cannot even sit up on her own.

Instead of opening presents under the tree, they'll be filling a cart with gifts and cards to bring to her bedside.

"Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year and knowing that she's being locked up and tortured," Jessica Pelletier said. "She should be home with her family. I don't know why. We're in the United States of America."

A gag order was put in place by the judge, so the hospital is not commenting at all.

The next hearing in Boston will be on Jan. 10.

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