About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007
Shellay Ward

Shellay Ward

She was seven years old, just like my daughter.

She had autism, just like my daughter.

She weighed just nine kilos, unlike my daughter.

She is dead, probable cause, starvation.

Can someone tell me how this can happen?
  posted at 10:50 am

At 1:16 pm, Blogger Kalyn said...

How tragic. I have no idea how someone could let this happen.

At 4:38 pm, Blogger gigi said...

Oh my god. That poor child. Those poor children.

At 5:26 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh Neil, I'm so sorry but we live in an imperfect world. Imperfect and complex. There really is such a thing as insanity and the world and it's complexities can overwhelm even parents who love children. It would be nice to think that someone would reach out an intervene before a little girl starves but it doesn't always happen.

At 12:36 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi kalyn, I just don't know either...

Hi gigi, it's too terrible for words.

Hi tanna, yeah, I know, but it was just so close to home. People who think like you and me can't really comprehend how other parents could let this happen to their children, that's the thing, not all people think the same or a capable of doing the right thing for whatever reason, mental illness included. Imperfect world indeed.

At 4:48 pm, Blogger vida said...

Neil, I was sick all day when I heard this story... What a tragedy... sometimes it's more than I can bear to hear about... Thank goodness our daughters have families who can care for them and love them... Vida x x x

At 5:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a terrible way for a person so small to die before having a chance to live. Unfortunately no one is blaming the parents of this child who allowed her to live in such inhumane conditions! Whilst DOCS are there to monitor, ultimate responsibility belongs to these to wastes of our air....her so called parents! Even animals treat their off spring and nests better than these two.

At 11:06 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil, where'd you find her? The first thought most people would have is that she was too hard for the parents and so they let her starve. This might be the truth, but I would reserve my judgement until I found out at least part of the story. These kind of tragedies that strike ordinary folk are too awful to contemplate because they could so easily happen to anyone, no matter how much care was taken. Most of the time they are preventable, mostly if the community is strong and is working together to protect the children. The second Sacred Law is that nothing should be done to harm the children, and we are all children like it or not, sometimes. I am sad for all the people that let this happen and all the people that were given no choice but to endure the tragedy, even us that hear about it. If the community was strong and was able to react in time to what must have been happening well before she died, then no doubt this would have been averted. Thank your lucky starts you are not in that situation, and hope with all your spirit that those around you know you enough to help. Cheers Gregory

At 12:48 pm, Blogger grocer said...

your daughter is loved.
and lovely

heartbreaking i know, but perhaps you can channel this disbelief and sadness into more positivity for M (if that is even possible)?

They've arrested the parents overnight so we will find out what happened soon enough, but that's not the point is it, really?

At 5:25 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi vida, I felt the same, could hardly even write this short post, but I wanted Shellay to know, wherever she is, that people do care.

Hi anon, I can feel your sadness and anger and believe most people feel this way, it was completely shocking.

Hi greg, thanks for your support mate, hard to believe this sort of thing could even happen, poor child.

Hi grocer, that she is, and I did channel this into helping another set of parents that we know are struggling a bit with their child. Before I was too concerned about being seen as interfering, but after this, not anymore. It may have saved another child's life.

At 2:05 am, Blogger Rhoda said...

I know this happened in 2007, but I am just now learning of it via a facebook website. I have a 7 year old autistic son who is the light of my life. I can bearly let him sleep in a room without me because I worry he may get sick and vomit and not know enough to turn his head. How any parent can watch their child die, and as torturous as Shellay Ward died is beyond me.


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