I think it's very sad that people feel the need to do this, and I also find it really sad that it may stop people with genuine illness and in genuine need of support from reaching out online for that support.
Speaking of people in genuine need of support please checkout the 'can't wait' campaign highlighting inflammatory bowel disease
(mods please remove if not appropriate)
I think it's really sad that there are people like that in the world
I think a lot of these people probably "lurk" on a lot of those forums for a while before they spin their own story. They take bits and peices of what they have seen other members experience and use that to stitch together their own story. If you were really serious about it you could subscribe to medical journals etc and get information that is almost guaranteed to be factual.
I think a lot of people fabricate stories about their children suffering illnesses OR they exaggerate their child's illness for attention as well as create illnesses for themselves - this negates the need for them to fabricate additional people ie they can make all the updates themselves since it's their child that is in the coma etc and not them. How can you disprove that someone's child is sick just by looking at their facebook for example? They will just tell you that they are playing their games while their child is "in surgery" to take their minds off things etc.
I have my suspicions about a few people who I believe do this, I feel sorry for them mostly because they obviously need something they are not able to get through other means. I have 1 friend who mimics everything that goes on with my autistic son....if he has a bad day and I post on facebook about it then suddenly her child develops the exact same issue - her status update is usually just a re-worded version of mine. The thing that makes me really suspicious is that she peppers her posts about her child with jargon etc that you would expect in a medical book or website - not the usual words you would expect a struggling mother to use but then when someone asks what the word means she either doesn't explain or offers an inadequate explaination. .....I could be overly suspicious though! Her child has many other issues also....some life-threatening yet nothing in any of her photos etc seem to indicate that her child suffers any of these things.
The most hurtful thing I have experienced regarding this is on another parenting website (big, multinational site) I belonged to a premmie parents group after my DD was born extremely premature. We had a woman on there who "apparently" delivered twins at 24 weeks and she really seemed to be struggling and we all reached out to her to offer help and support. People sent cards and even gifts to her home - we couldn't send gifts to the hospital because of the policy of not having anything that could introduce germs into the unit. I sent a mini scrapbook album with scrap book pages - it cost a reasonable amount and we were poor at the time and dealing with our own baby in NICU struggling to survive. She told us her son had died of infection and her daughter was battling severe entercolitus and was having surgery etc. Suspicions heightened when she came back to say she was pregnant AGAIN with a set of triplets - a mere 6 weeks after the birth of her twins via casearian. I can't remember much else but there all sorts of other red flags. The fact that she only ever updated her posts and never responded to anyone else. Anyway she was finally "outed" when someone decided to "dig" and found the ultrasound picture of "her" twins on an ultrasound site - she had blacked out the name and other details but on the site they said the US was done in 1997!!! She posted pictures of her babies in NICU but only the once - never any other pics after the first ones and we never saw the twins together - ie never 2 isolettes. The two babies, despite clearly being fraternal looked identical (ie we think it was the same baby), I think it was the US that clinched it for us - I mean if she really was pregnant why swipe an US off a website? When we questioned her on it she posted a big indignant post and then disappeared! I was incredibly hurt and can totally sympathise with anyone else who has been hurt by people like this!
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