The parents of Matthew Garnett have expressed their joy that they’ve finally got their son moved out of the mental health ward he called “prison”.
Isabelle and Robin Garnett previously made a heartbreaking plea during an appearance on This Morning , in which Holly Willoughby broke down, as they revealed their 15-year-old son thought he was ‘in prison’ after he was detained under the mental health act.
Matthew had been in a psychiatric intensive care unit since September 2015 after his parents made the decision to sign paperwork to have him sectioned – a solution for short-term emergency care.
They were struggling to provide the care they needed for their son who had been diagnosed with autism , ADHD and generalised anxiety along with other mental health difficulties.
On This Morning, Isabelle and Robin claimed Matthew was “locked in, kept inside and forcibly injected”.
They added: “His anxiety went through the roof, and he had a terrifying weight loss of 13 kilos in 3 months.
“We were so worried about his mental health.”
But Matthew is now in a care home, being overseen by doctors who specialise in autism.
Isabelle said: “He is doing incredibly well, being cared for and supported by a team of autism specialists who really understand autism.”
His dad added: “He’s not taking anti-pyschotics anymore, not being excluded or restrained, calm because they’re managing his anxiety.”
And Matthew is in such a good place, he even got his wish to go to Anfield Stadium!
Isabelle said: “This has been his dream. He was over the moon!
“I spoke to him on the phone last night and I could barely understand what he was saying because he was speaking at 100 mph. He was utterly thrilled!”
Holly previously broke down in tears during an emotional interview with Isabelle and Robin.
Presenter Holly was unable to hold back her tears as Isabelle begged for “action” from the minister in charge of health, Mr Alastair Burt MP and to listen to their issues.
“It’s just incredibly sad, when you rely on the system at the most difficult time in your life and you just want to do the best for your son. And the best you can do is out of your control,” Holly said.
Fellow host Phillip Schofield also felt sympathy with the parents and promised them This Morning would make a phone call to the MP on their behalf as soon as possible.
A petition with 188,000 signatures calling for the release of Matthew was at the core of his parents’ plea, and Isabelle was desperate for her son to be moved to a facility that could offer the correct care her son needed.
She told Holly and Phil at the time that her son had dramatically changed since his time on the ward and couldn’t help getting angry over the lack of help they’ve had from the NHS.
“It’s absurd, absurd. It’s insane, forgive the pun, that the nearest possible unit that can help my son is in Northampton. That there is no specialised unit for children with ASD in the South East of England.
“The most densely populated area of the UK. It is absurd. Why?”
A spokesperson for the NHS made a statement which Phillip read out: “We have every sympathy with Matthew and his family, we understand this is a difficult time.
“It has been confirmed that he will be moved to St Andrews where he will be able to receive specialist care that he needs, we anticipate this will happen in weeks but we can’t confirm a date at this point.”
But an upset Isabelle expressed her disbelief: “We were told that in September 2015. You will understand why we can’t believe that until it happens. Sorry I don’t mean to be angry…”
She added: “He is a human being and he is being stripped of his rights, I have been stripped of my mother’s rights and I can’t even take my son to A&E to get his cast on.
“I cannot even see where my son sleeps, he has been imprisoned for six months without treatment or appropriate care or without assessment even and Mr Burt I would like to meet with you, so I can share my son’s story.”