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By Minyvonne Burke
An Illinois mother has been charged in her daughter’s death after police say she hid the teenage girl’s medical diagnosis and prevented her from getting proper treatment.
Amber Hampshire, 39, of the city of Alton in southern Illinois was charged Thursday with one count involuntary manslaughter and one count of endangering the life or health of a child in connection to her 14-year-old daughter Emily’s death in November, according to a press release from Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons.
An investigation found that the mother “was fully aware of Emily’s diabetic condition but took measures to conceal Emily’s diabetes and failed to provide Emily with appropriate medical treatment and medication, which led to Emily’s death from diabetic ketoacidosis,” the press release stated.
The girl had allegedly been diagnosed with diabetes in 2013, but doctors at the hospital where she was taken in November weren’t made aware of it until after her death, the press release said.
Calls made to the Hampshire family by NBC News were not immediately returned.
Emily was hospitalized on Nov. 1, 2018, after paramedics responded to her home on a report that she was unresponsive and not breathing. She was taken to a local hospital in Illinois before being transferred to a hospital in St. Louis, where she died two days later on Nov. 3.
The girl’s mother allegedly told hospital doctors in St. Louis that her daughter had been previously hospitalized elsewhere in February 2018 for pneumonia and that she had been told that Emily had high sugar levels at the time, but insulin wasn’t prescribed, NBC-affiliate KSDK reported, based on court documents.
Doctors said that they had requested copies of Emily’s medical records, but Hampshire blocked them from getting them, according to KSDK.
It wasn’t until after Emily’s death and when doctors were finally able to obtain her medical records that they learned the teen had been diagnosed with diabetes five years ago, according to the court documents cited by the news outlet. It is also alleged that Hampshire had been instructed to bring Emily to three follow-up appointments following her February 2018 hospitalization, but did not do so.
A detective investigating the teen’s death said Emily’s school had also been made aware that the teen had diabetes but Hampshire, who had been working at the school at the time, allegedly said the diagnosis was a mistake, KSDK reported.
Days after Emily’s death, police obtained a search warrant and found medications for diabetes as well as various equipment used to treat someone with the disease at Hampshire’s home. The teen’s phone was also seized by police to see if it contained any evidence, according to the outlet.
If convicted, Hampshire faces up to 14 years in prison for the manslaughter charge and up to 10 years for the charge of endangering the life of a minor.
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.