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Cyndi Jensen needed help. Her 16-year-old daughter Elli, non-verbal and diagnosed with autism, was screaming in pain.
“I don’t mean a little scream,” Jensen recalled “I mean horror movie, shattering glass, blood curdling screams that just pierce your ears.”
The mother of four children, each diagnosed with autism, has gone through this more times than she can count. Usually, she can say the right thing to calm her daughter down and avoid a trip to the ER, but this episode was severe.
But after arriving at the emergency room at Children’s Hospital in Detroit, Jensen did not feel relief knowing that her daughter’s pain would soon subside.
“We’ve been through this several times,” she said, “and each time I’m still stunned that it hasn’t gotten any better.”
While Children’s Hospital of Michigan could hold Elli, they had no psychiatric beds available to treat her. In fact, there were none available in the county, the tri-county or the entire state.