Beds, Herts & Bucks

'Shaken baby' has rare bruising condition Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

A suspected shaken baby case has been halted after it emerged the girl involved has a rare medical condition which causes "easy bruising".

The Family Court case came about after five-month-old Effie Stillwell collapsed last August.

As a result Effie was initially placed in foster care and her father arrested on suspicion of hurting her.

In revealing the case had been stopped, Judge Karen Venables said the family had experienced "unimaginable horror".

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Buckinghamshire County Council brought the family court seeking to take Effie from her parents Craig Stillwell and Carla Andrews, who live in Aylesbury, and put her into local authority care.

But experts established that Effie suffered from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type IV (EDS IV) - a condition characterised by "thin and translucent skin, easy bruising, vascular and arterial rupture".

The council then withdrew its application to take Effie into care, Judge Venables said.

Miss Andrew has also been diagnosed as suffering from EDS, the judge said.

Details about Effie's case were made public after her parents, who are both in their 20s, requested an "open judgment" to encourage discussion of their daughter's condition.

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