This little girl was put into care for eight months after her parents were WRONGLY accused of abuse

 Craig Stillwell Carla Andrews This Morning

by Eden-Olivia Lord |
Published on

Craig Stillwell and Carla Andrews appeared on This Morning to bring awareness to the rare medical condition Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Craig Stillwell and Carla Andrew appeared on This Morning and revealed they had been wrongfully accuse of hurting their 3-month-old daughter Effie due to her medical condition.

The 23-year-old couple revealed on the ITV show that their young daughter spent eight months in foster care after suffering from a rare medical condition Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which causes her arteries to rupture and creates 'easy bruising'.

Opening up about the moment they discovered their then-three-months-old daughter was ill, Carla explained that Effie "kept vomiting and sleeping all day – she had no energy whatsoever."

 Craig Stillwell Carla Andrews This Morning
Baby Effie has a rare medical condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (Credit: ITV) ©ITV

Craig then revealed the heartbreaking moment Effie suffered a seizure: "It was on the 15th of August at 3am she just went really stiff, fixed gaze, she was as white as a ghost, it was really terrifying."

"When we got to the hospital they didn’t really say much to us, but they did some tests, then they came back a little while later and said it looked like she’d had a bleed and it looks like it wasn’t the first one," Carla added.

However, things took a horrible turn for the worst when the detectives arrived at the hospital, and after both parents refused to leave their daughters bedside the police arrested them for GBH (grievous bodily harm).

Carla explained to Holly and Phil that one of the nurses said to her: "You knew this was going to happen."

She added: "In a way, I felt like they were already saying we were guilty."

 Craig Stillwell Carla Andrews This Morning
Carla explained how a nurse had implied that they had hurt their daughter (Credit: ITV) ©ITV

Even though Craig and Carla was released on bail the next day, they were not allowed to see their daughter in hospital as she was under police protection. Things got even worst for the new-parents after Effie was taken into foster care.

Their little girl was put in foster care for eight months and 21 days and her parents were only allowed to visit her three times a week and were not allowed to leave the building.

Carla explained how painful the experience was: "I felt like we were animals. It felt, for those few months, that she wasn’t our daughter anymore and that she belonged to somebody else.

"The foster carers were amazing but I thought she might forget that we’re her parents."

 Craig Stillwell Carla Andrews This Morning
The adorable couple spent 8 months away for their baby Credit: ITV) ©ITV

The turning point came after Craig and Carla did some research and discovered Effie had bleeding on the brain because she has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Carla also suffers from the dangerous condition that gives you "different facial appearances, makes you look quite young and quite small," and only found out when Effie fell ill.

Although the couple made the discovery in February they were only reunited with her at home last weekend, but the mum-of-one described the reunion as "amazing".

 Craig Stillwell Carla Andrews This Morning
Effie finally returned home last weekend (Credit: ITV) ©ITV

Since the incident, Thames Valley Police has released a statement which read: "It’s important that our investigations are proportionate and necessary based on the information available to us and our partners at the time.

"The decision to arrest the parents of a child deemed to be at risk of immediate harm is not one that we would ever take lightly."

The hospital added: "We recognise that the past few months must have been very difficult for the Stillwell family we would be keen to meet them to understand and learn from their experiences."

Carla also admitted that the situation could have been handled better if Effie was kept in the hospital and more observations for other causes were made "rather than point the blame straight away."

If you suffer from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome you can find help and support with the Ehlers-Danlos Support UK.

This Morning continues weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.

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