A girl who believed she was on the cusp of death for three years has learned that her terminal illness was made up by her mother, who used the tragic story to pocket thousands of dollars in donation and freebies.
Rylee Abbuhl, 11, from Canton, Ohio, was told by her mother, Lindsey Abbuhl, 34, at the age of eight that she was suffering from an incurable medical disorder that could cause her central nervous system to fail.
Rylee had to undergo counselling for years to process the fact that she would never be able to realize her dreams of attending high school or playing college softball for Notre Dame. However, it was later revealed that her health condition was fabricated by her mother to pay bills and fund trips.
Lindsey Raised Thousands of Dollars in Donations
Rylee grabbed national attention after Lindsey told the community of her "terminal illness." She would post her daughter's hospital visits on social media ."This little lady is my best friend! Continue to say prayers for her as we navigate through her medical concerns," she captioned one of her posts.
"She has two months," Lindsey told The Canton Repository, adding that her organs were shutting down and the main goal for her was "quality of life". Rylee was invited to travel to College Station by the Texas A&M softball team and she and her mother went to SeaWorld, which Lindsey said was on Rylee's bucket list. In December, Wishes Can Happen sent Lindsey and her daughter on a trip to Key West, Florida.
She even received a personalized video message from pro softballers like Sierra Romero. In a March 1 interview with a local news outlet, Lindsey said that 25 colleges and universities had reached out to Ryless to show their support. Lindsey also raked in thousands of dollars in donations through a GoFundMe campaign that has since been pulled from the website.
Medical Professional Confirmed Rylee Was Not Sick
Local authorities in Canton, Ohio, revealed this week that Rylee was not, in fact, sick and that Lindsey made it all up to fund trips, their house and cover other expenses for years.
"There is no evidence to support [the] mother's claim that Rylee is terminally ill," read a neglect and abuse complaint, filed in Family Court this week by the Stark County Division of Children Services. The complaint noted that a medical professional reviewed all of Rylee's medical records and found that she was not suffering from any illness.
The Stark County Sheriff's Office has since removed Rylee from the custody of her mother and opened an investigation into allegations that Lindsey used her daughter for personal gain.
After temporarily placing Rylee with a family friend, a Stark County Family Court Judge on Friday placed her with her dad, Jamie Abbuhl, who had been increasingly concerned about his ex-wife's claims about their daughter. Lindsey has not been charged with any crime.