A mother has been accused of child abuse and other crimes after faking her then three-year-old son’s cancer and pretending to be a doctor.
Hamilton County prosecutors have alleged that Monika Burgett convinced doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that she was a doctor while they cared for her son.
Assistant Prosecutor Anne Flanagan told jurors on Tuesday that Ms Burgett also set up a GoFundMe page to raise $US40,000 ($50,000) on her son’s behalf, posting a photo of her son with shaven eyebrows and head.
Dr. Robert Shapiro testified that Ms Burgett “became a member of the health care team” as her son was treated with drugs including Oxycodone and methadone, and received unnecessary medical care, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
However, doctors eventually suspected Ms Burgett of lying about her son’s symptoms and reported her to the county’s family services.
Her lawyer, M.J. Hugan, said Ms Burgett admitted to lying about being a doctor but said that her son had many medical problems since he was born premature and she was trying to get help for him.
“At some point, she adopted the idea that she was a physician,” Hugan said.
The now five-year-old boy was removed from Ms Burgett’s custody last year.
Besides child abuse, Ms Burgett is on trial for felonious assault and telecommunications fraud.