Medical mystery leads to a family torn apart

Posted at 11:32 PM, Apr 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 23:32:22-04

Just over a year ago, 17-year-old Leiani McMichael says she was living the life of a normal teen. She played sports, drove a car and went to school. Then, she says something happened to her that could happen to anyone.

Related: Mom says CPS took her daughter because of medical mystery

Related: Teen taken by CPS reunited with family after nearly three months in Children's Village

"You get sick and then your whole life turns upside down and your family is broken up," Leiani said.

She said her nightmare started when she needed her appendix removed. After surgery, she couldn't keep food down. One doctor said she may have suffered nerve damage during the operation, and doctors gave her a feeding tube.

A complication with the tube and medication put her in a coma while she was visiting her dad in California. She says she continued having health problems with she got home.

Leiani says she was shocked when Child Protective Services took her from her Bloomfield Hills house in November, forced her to live at Children's Village in Pontiac and accused her mom of Munchausen by Proxy - a disorder where a parent makes a child sick for attention.

Her mother contacted 7 Action News, and after a month, the state dropped the allegations but then accused her mom of medical neglect.

In January, the neglect charge was dropped, but Leiani still isn't allowed to live with her mom. 

A judge ruled Leiani could live with her step dad and a reunification process should be started. Leiani waited two months before calling 7 Action News reporter Kim Russell.

"I needed your help because my medical guardians are not doing reunification. I need reunification. I want family," Leiani said.

She said she believes she is a victim of the court system and a medical mystery. Her next court date is April 20.