Parents Deny Dying Son Cancer Treatment
Monica Hussing, 27, and William Robinson Sr., 40, parents of an 8-year old boy, Willie Robinson, let him suffer for months from undiagnosed swollen glands later said to be Hodgkin lymphoma. The two were sentenced to eight months in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to denying him treatment.
Attorneys for the two said that the parents didn’t want to get their son treatment because they had financial problems and couldn’t afford it.
In the courtroom, Robinson told the judge, “I loved my son,” and explained how sorry he was. Hussing said “I tried to help my son,” as members of the family were heard sobbing in the crowded courtroom. The parents were given the maximum sentence by Cuyahoga County Judge Michael Astrab who accepted their guilty pleas last month to attempted involuntary manslaughter. Supposedly, both parents plan to appeal the sentence.
According to the prosecution, at least eight family members noticed Willie’s health deteriorating over a period of two years and spoke to this parents about it. Hussing’s sister, Sheila Slawinski even stated, “I told my sister. I offered to help my sister,” when noticing the boy’s neck glands that were so swollen they resembled softballs.”Twenty-nine months he suffered, “Slawinski said. “Twenty-nine months they had to do something and they chose not to.”
Willie and his three siblings were never enrolled in school, and when asked why, Slawinski explained that it was easier for the parents to stay in bed and do drugs all day. Attorneys for the two admitted to the judge that they had problems with abusing drugs in the past.
Hussing’s oldest daughter, even under oath and possible penalty of perjury defended her mother in court and said that Willie played outside and hung out with friends like most 8-year-old’s. Judge Astrab didn’t buy her claims as he compared his emaciated body to a concentration camp victim stating, “If anybody, anybody, didn’t know this kid was sick, they are seriously, seriously disturbed.”
Prosecutors explain that Willie begged and begged his parents to take him to the hospital but was never allowed. Hodgkin lymphoma is a highly treatable cancer and doctors told the judge that no sick child would ever be turned away from a hospital. They also have proof that while Willie was suffering immensely, his parents paid $87 to have their pit bull treated for fleas, even though they claimed financial hardship.
According to Robinson’s attorney, a social worker visited the family in 2008 and indicated that the children were “happy and healthy.” Hussing also explained that a case worker told her that Willie’s lump looked like a swollen gland and that it was okay to wait to treat it until their financial situation was better.
When the family moved to Cleaveland, Lillian says that Willie came down with a cold, and she treated him with cold medicine. He died three days later.