Thursday 20 July 2023

TikTok influencer accused of medically abusing 3-year-old daughter to raise GoFundMe money and receive charity flight, police say

 A social media influencer in Texas is accused of medically abusing her 3-year-old daughter in order to receive attention, a condition known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

27-year-old Jessica Gasser was arrested at her home in Tatum and charged with subjecting her daughter to unnecessarily having her blood drawn 27 times. 

The affidavit accused Gasser of deceiving medical professionals across the country in order to receive unneeded procedures.

Gasser had 24,000 followers on TikTok, where she would talk about her daughter's medical treatments, according to police. She also had Facebook and Instagram accounts under the name "MedicalMamaJess" for the same purpose.

Health officials initially became suspicious of Gasser when she appeared to be "doctor shopping" to get the treatment she requested for her daughter.

The affidavit says that computer records showed Gasser had searched phrases related to the accusations, including, “can investigators pull my social media data without a warrant,” "how do you fix Munchausen by Proxy,” and “is lying to a doctor illegal." 

Gasser is also accused of raising and collecting $685 through GoFundMe for her daughter's care at the Cleveland Clinic as well as accepting a flight from the charity Miracle Flight.

In one instance documented by the affidavit, Gasser allegedly told her followers that her daughter's blood sugar had crashed at a doctor's visit. She claimed that the episode at the doctor's office had lasted an hour an half, but the affidavit said in reality it had been a 15-minute phone call. 

She is also accused of trying to get doctors to place a central intravenous line on her daughter even though a doctor said it wasn't needed.

The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office asked for help from the public to gather more information about the case.

“She recently sent messages to a friend stating she would delete all social media posts about her child’s health, including private messages. If you have been in contact with her via social media or text message, please contact Detective Michael Weber," read a post from Facebook.

Officials said the girl is thriving now that the allegedly unnecessary medical treatments have ended.

Here's a local news report about the incident:

Texas mom and medical social media influencer accused of medical abuse of 3-year-old daughter

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