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DR. RUDORFER: Number 37, please.
MS. GOFF: I do not have any financial ties. I am here with my daughter, Alex. We are here to tell you about her twin sister, Devon, when she was 9 years old. We are also joined by Senator Lincoln Chafee’s wife Stephanie who is a friend of ours.
In 2002, Devon developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder very suddenly and very severely. In a three-month period, she lost 10 pounds. We consulted a specialist who prescribed Zoloft on her second visit with him.
Soon thereafter, he increased the Zoloft to 50 milligrams or more, but it didn’t help, so he changed her prescription to Paxil. She was hospitalized and Devon’s medical condition was compromised in that she had developed a cardiac arrhythmia and had to be placed on a heart monitor. She was in the hospital for one month, and she was on the heart monitor and bed rest for the entire time.
During this time, her Paxil was increased to 20 milligrams. A few days later she was started on Zyprexa also. Devon was not getting any better, in fact, her behaviors grew worse. She began hitting her head against the metal hospital bed.
She threatened to jump out of the window on two occasions. On two other occasions, we found a pair of sharp scissors in her bed. Our child was never suicidal before these medications. At one point, my 9-year-old child, who weighed little more than 60 pounds, was on 30 milligrams of Paxil and 10 milligrams of Zyprexa.
Our gentle daughter would now fly into a rage several times each day. It became part of our life to have my husband and myself restrain Devon at times for fear that she would truly hurt herself. During these times, she would try to inflict injury upon herself by banging her head on walls, beds, floors. She would punch herself in the legs and arms. She grew extremely violent toward us. She would run to the silverware drawer and get a knife and attempt to stab herself.
The worst moment happened when I looked in on her, in her room one night, to find her by her open second floor bedroom window with one leg out the window in a position as if she appeared she would jump.
Devon is presently being treated for Lyme Disease. In summary, our experience has been one of absolute terror to watch your 9-year-old daughter suffer so much, so suddenly, and to be so lost in helping her.
So often we would ask why this was happening, and we were told to forget about the etiology.
DR. RUDORFER: I am sorry, we are out of time. Thank you very much.