ABC NewsRadio 1026 AM Melbourne
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I don’t know if this was the surgery where she thought her stomach lining wrapped around her oesophagus. Rod: No, she would’ve had that earlier. She had that feeding tube way before then. You know? She was here. Rod: This was probably close to the first year or two when she was in a wheelchair. Yep. Breaks my heart Radio knowing she got put through all of this when she didn’t need it. Fourteen years. To be confined. The last years in a wheelchair. I couldn’t imagine. Stanfield: I’ve never encountered anything that is even close to what Gypsy has gone through. Her mother appeared to have taken great steps to keep Gypsy in a very juvenile role, making her act several years younger than her actual age. It appears that Gypsy was not even aware of what her actual age was. Rod: I called her for her th birthday, and Dee Dee said, “Don’t tell her she’s , you know?” I’m like, “What you mean don’t tell her she’s ? She knows she’s . It’s her th birthday.” “Yeah, but she don’t know she’s . She’s– you know.” I thought it was weird, you know? I– she– I mean, I always did know that she– she told me her mental capacity was, you know, like, five years behind. When she was, like, , she was like, “Oh, yeah, her learning is coming along, but she’s like, mentally, at a or -year-old.” Kristy: She looks like she would be and , and she was probably like, , . I wonder what she was thinking. Hello, everybody! This is Gypsy Rose reporting from Aurora, Missouri. I’m about to dive off our porch [Dee Dee’s home movies] into the pile of snow. You ready? That was so grand! Whoo! All right! Yooh! Yeah! [A special day] That’s so cool. Let’s do it again. Dean: It’s hard to answer a lot questions about who Gypsy is, right? Because she was somebody else for such a long time. Dean: And now we know her as almost a completely different person. Erin Lee Carr: I’m Erin, as you remember. I remember. Dean: I would be curious if anybody Gypsy has talked to feels they’re getting the full story. This is actually kind of the first time I’ve been honest besides being honest, you know, with my attorneys. Even then, I haven’t been completely honest with them, so Radio Carr: How would you describe your mom? Um Radio Unique. Um Radio I mean, I used to always think that maybe she was a little overprotective. So, if I had to say one word about her, it would be overprotective. Dee Dee: How old are you? [Gypsy, year old] (Dee Dee’s voice offscreen) You’re one. And where’s your cranial? Very good. And where’s your phalanges? Yes. Very, very good. I really didn’t think any abuse was going on. Um Radio it’s like when you’re abused, but you’ve lived that way your whole life. You don’t really know that you’re being abused. You don’t know any different. Looking at the open ocean now. And it’s beautiful! Gypsy: I knew that I was different or my life was different from other kids’. But people thought of us, as, you know, the sweetest mother-daughter family ever. The best two people in the world. Carr: What illnesses did your mom say that you had? Um Radio Asthma, epilepsy, hearing impaired, vision impaired, fed with a feeding tube, paralyzed from the waist down. Um Radio slow, so retardation. And– among other things, I just can’t remember them. [Gypsy Rose’s diagnosis] [List of conditions Dee Dee gave to doctors] [G.I. reflux, anemia, hyperventilation, incontinence, lung disease, heart murmur] [Dee Dee’s medical closet] Gypsy: I was on breathing medication. Medication for seizures. Medication to help go to the bathroom. Pain medication, anxiety medication. Just everything. I would have to put on the breathing machine every night. I hated it, though, because it seemed to make my breathing worse, not better. And then another machine was for the feeding tube. It was controlling what I’d eat. My medications would be put through there. I really wouldn’t even have to be awake. So, she could put whatever in my body, and I wouldn’t even know. [Dee Dee and Gypsy on one of their medical trips] Dee Dee: Hey, you make me wanna yawn. So, where are you going today? I’m going to Children’s Mercy Hospital to see my dentist.