This poor lady from Devon got pneumonia whilst visiting New York with her kids. She had to go to a hospital in Harlem for treatment. Her daughters, Katie, 13 and Gemma, 15, were taken to an orphanage. According to the This Is London, Gemma was asked "Have you any homicidal tendencies? What street gangs are you in?" She replied, "I'm a member of Appledore library," Then they were photographed and sent to a room full of 12 other 15 year old girls. They weren't allowed to leave. The Dickensian conclusion after the jump:
Stripped of their belongings and clothes, the girls were given one-size plain white T-shirts and elasticated jeans - not quite the fashionable gear they had dreamed of picking up in Fifth Avenue's designer shops.
"They looked like prison outfits," said Gemma.
The sisters were spilt up, posed for mug-shots, given a medical examination and a wash pack and told to go and have a shower.
They were told they were not allowed to leave the orphanage and shown to a glass-walled dorm on a floor for 12-15-year-old girls.
"It was like being in a little cage," said Katie.
"It was scary as the staff were constantly looking in at us. I tried to go to sleep, but every time I opened my eyes, someone was looking right at me."
Meanwhile, mum Yvonne had been told that she would need to stay in hospital for another two or three days.
Bed-ridden in a ward where every other patient seemed to be handcuffed to either their bed or a cop - the man in the next bed had been stabbed in the neck - she was already feeling a long way from sleepy Devon.
"It felt like I was in an episode of ER," she said. "I was frantic with worry. "The social workers from the Manhattan Child Services kept changing shifts so nobody knew what was happening.
"After two nights, I marched out of the hospital through the front doors in the same vomit-stained pyjamas," she said.
"It was so embarrassing. I must have looked like a crazy mad woman as I stood there in the freezing cold, crying, and trying to hail down a cab."
After getting back to the sanctuary of her hotel - and convincing the staff that she was the same bedraggled woman that had been rushed to hospital two days earlier - tearful Yvonne was given a key to her room and got to work telephoning the orphanage for her kids.
Although not over her pneumonia, Yvonne was determined that the family would make the most of their last night in New York.
Just 30 minutes later, she and her daughters were in a cab to Broadway.
"We had already booked our tickets for Mary Poppins, and wanted to treat ourselves after everything that had happened," said Yvonne.