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Recently, news headlines and stories across the country have questioned the rights of parents with overweight and obese children.
In fact, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests stripping custody rights from parents of obese children in order to protect the child’s best interest.
In a recent segment of Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil talked to a mother named Jerri Gray. Jerri made headlines when child services took her 14 year old son, Alex, away because he weighed a staggering 555 pounds.
Jerri was charged with unlawful neglect of a child for allowing him to become obese. Since then, Alex has been living with Jerri’s sister Tammie, and is now down to 325 pounds. He has lost over 200 pounds in two years. Alex was able to appear on Dr. Phil, and spoke out publicly for the first time about his situation. Before the show, Alex wrote a heart-felt letter to Dr. Phil asking for help:
Dear Dr. Phil:
The day my mom came into the house and told me that some lady had come and handed my mom a paper from the court saying she had to be in court the next morning, and they were going to take me from her, I cried and my mom hugged me. She said she didn’t know what to do. Then I was still crying and begged my mom to please don’t let them take me from her. I wanted to stay with her. She said ok, and told me to go to sleep and she’ll take care of everything.
The next morning when she woke me up and I got dressed, she said we were leaving and that she couldn’t just let them take me. So, after driving for hours into the next day we were in Baltimore, Maryland. We were at a laundry mat. My mom was washing my clothes while I sat in our van, and the police found us there and arrested my mom. I was so scared. They were good to me, but took my mom to jail. I kept asking about my mom and nobody gave me any answers. I stayed in Baltimore for a week then DSS from SC came and got me and drove me back to SC. They put me in a foster home of people I didn’t know for about 2 months. I kept asking when can I go and stay with family and where is my mom.
Finally, they let me go stay with my aunt Tammie. I was glad to be going to live with family instead of strangers. I was so sad without my mom that I decided to make myself busy, so I became active in youth programs in the church and other church activities, got into sports at school, started hanging out with friends and cousins. I would love to be a motivational speaker and use my story as a testimony of how I lost weight and will continue until I reach my ideal weight goal. If being on the show will help others, myself, and my mom I would like a chance to find out. Thank you for inviting us on your show.
Dr. Phil did help Alex, by providing him with a year’s worth of meals from BistroMD. Now, Alex can get back to being a teenager, and can continue to achieve his goals of losing weight.
Here is a preview of the episode:
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