Monica Hussing and William Robinson Sr. from Clevland, Ohio, who failed to seek medical care for their cancer-stricken son because they said they couldn’t afford medical care have pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Their son, Willie Robinson, 8, died of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008 after begging his parents to get him medical care, according to prosecutors. The prosecutors say that had he received treatment, the youngster would have had a 96% chance of making a full recovery.
The parents claim they never took their cancer-stricken son to the doctor because they didn’t have the money.
But somehow, they found the cash to have their family pit bull treated for fleas, prosecutors say.
Monica Hussing, 37 and William Robinson, 40, have been free on $150,000 bail each in Cleveland, since their son died. On Monday, the parents pleaded guilty to attempted involuntary manslaughter and face up to eight years in prison.
Monica Hussing’s lawyer blamed Willie’s death on the fact that the parents, who still have five children, were poor and did not have health insurance.
“Unfortunately, these people did not have that ability to get the proper health care and I think the entire system both in Warren, in Trumbull County and in Cuyahoga County it was just a little bit of… the ball was dropped,” John Luskin told WJW.
But prosecutors say as Willie Robinson was dying a horrible, but preventable, death, his parents paid $87 to take their pit bull Petey to a veterinarian and have it treated for fleas.
After ignoring his pleas for medical help, Willie Robinson collapsed at their home March 22, 2008. It was then Monica Hussing and William Robinson finally took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with cancer and died later that day.
The coroner ruled the boy’s death, caused by cancer and pneumonia, a homicide, meaning it was the result of his parents’ actions.
Authorities say none of the couple’s five other children, now 17, 16, 10, 9 and 8, received medical care. All of them have been removed from their parents and are living with an aunt.
The parents also kept their children out of school. Willie Robinson never saw a classroom in his short life, authorities say.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is cancer of lymph tissue found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver and bone marrow. Symptoms include: fatigue, fever and chills, loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss.
It is the most common form of childhood cancer and the most treatable, with up to 96% of children surviving at least five years after the cancer goes into remission.