After 2 mos. in the hospital, the 7 eldest Turpin kids were released last week. The ’emotional’ goodbye was ‘tough,’ but they marked the milestone with karaoke & treats!
Ever since being rescued from their family home in January, where they were allegedly starved and mistreated by mom Louise and dad David Turpin, the seven adult Turpin children had been under the care of staff at the Corona Regional Medical Center in California. The malnourished siblings were being nursed back to health as well as slowly getting introduced to years of entertainment and technology they had previously been deprived of. However, last week, on March 15, the oldest Turpins were quietly discharged, the hospital’s chief executive officer, Mark Uffer, confirmed. And while it was a joyous occasion in many ways, it was not an easy transition for the children or for the hospital staff, as the Turpins had developed a strong bond with their caregivers, and vice versa.
“It was emotional for the staff and emotional for them,” Mark revealed to People magazine. “This has been their home away from wherever they were at before, so it was a little bit tough for them and the staff.” During their stay, the Turpin siblings, whom were affectionately referred to as “The Magnificent 13,” grew “very attached” to the nursers and doctors who worked with them. “It was a very touching experience for all of the staff,” Mark explained. “If you asked the nurses, they would all tell you it was a life-changing experience.” Luckily though, the hospital knew of the oldest Turpins’ impending departure in advance, which gave them plenty of time to plan something special for when they left.
“We served them lunch and had cake for them,” Mark shared with the publication. “The nurses that provided the care for them and the physicians that provided care for them actually got to spend time with them before they left.” The adult children chowed down on pizza and sandwiches at the farewell party, and there were even fun activities. “They got to sing on a karaoke machine — they love to sing and love to interact with people,” Mark said. “They can sense people that actually care for them so they were very attached. They were able to sing. It was like a birthday party environment.”
But while the hospital wanted to do something special for the siblings, the children too wanted to leave their temporary caregivers with gifts of gratitude. “They made gifts for each one of us, little crafts for each one of us. They made bracelets out of beads that they gave to all the nurses,” Mark said. “They had little scrapbooks that they wanted us to all write messages in before they left so they had something to remember us by.” How sweet is that? Apparently the Turpin kids enjoyed making crafts throughout their hospital stay, as many were donated to them after their horrific story broke.
“We had a lot of donations of crafts — people sending PlayDoh and sent crayons and coloring books and things they could entertain themselves with,” Mark said. “There were beads with initials. They would take the stretchy twine they make bracelets out of and would make one for me saying, ‘Outstanding CEO’ or ‘Coolest CEO Ever,’ something like that. One of them had my initials on it. I have three or four bracelets they made me over the time they spent here. They gave them from their hearts … that is all they had to give.”
As they left Corona Regional, “they were tearful and I think a little bit afraid but at the same time they were hopeful that the environment they were going to would allow them to get on with their lives,” Mark revealed. “We are hopeful that occurs. I told them we weren’t going to say goodbye — we are going to say ‘Until we meet again.’ We are hopeful it wasn’t a goodbye.”
Meanwhile, parents David and Louise are currently facing numerous criminal charges in the alleged abuse of their 13 children, who ranged in age from 2 to 29 at the time of the parents’ arrest. The charges include torture, false imprisonment, and abuse. Only the youngest child appears to have been somewhat spared from the alleged abuse, according to prosecutors.
The children were rescued earlier this year after the couple’s 17-year-old daughter escaped the home and called 911. When authorities arrived at the Turpin’s house, they found an allegedly horrendous scene of malnutrition and squalor. Some of the children were shackled to their beds. They were allegedly denied food and were only allowed to take a shower once a year. David and Louise are being held on a $ 9 million bond each and face life in prison if convicted of the crimes against their children. They have pleaded not guilty to all the charges.