The Hewlett family from Winchester, Hampshire, have spent £10,000 to understand how their previously angelic eight-year-old son turned into a ‘demon’. At one point the little boy was so desperate about his terrible behaviour that he begged his parents to kill him.
In September last year William developed a fever that he seemed to recover from. However, around a week later he woke up and turned into “something out of The Exorcist”.
Boy claims “there’s blood dripping down the curtains”
According to William’s mother, Johanne: “He started being really aggressive and violent. He looked different, he looked really pale and his eyes were sunken. He was hallucinating saying there was blood dripping down the curtains.”
At one point Johanne recalled how William was seated upon her lap and praying to God to kill him. When that didn’t work he asked Johanne to kill him, then his father, Jez. He begged God to ‘send a bus round’ so that his parents could push him in front of it.
Johanne and Jez sort the advice of health professionals, who concluded that William was autistic. This did not satisfy Johanne, who remembered William as a ‘normal’ boy who’d play guitar, football with his friends and go to Beavers.
Family in tatters as they deal with ‘possessed’ boy
Eventually, after a year-long fight and a £10,000 expenditure, a more satisfactory diagnosis was obtained – William had developed a condition known as PANS/PANDAS. This is a reaction to something that a child is not immune to that causes an inflammation in their brain.
Johanne now says she thinks that William’s condition was triggered by mould in their old home. Within twenty-four hours of William receiving antibiotics aimed at removing the toxins from his body, his parents noticed improvements in his behaviour.
When caught early, PANS/PANDAS can be treated with a two-week treatment of antibiotics and monitoring. William’s parents are now campaigning to increase awareness of this condition.