Teen piercing sparks near-fatal infection




BOSTON – A 13-year-old was in critical condition and her mother faced criminal charges Monday for failing to get medical help after the girl’s attempt to pierce her own belly button caused a severe infection lasting weeks.

By the time Deborah Robinson’s daughter was taken to the hospital last week, the former middle school track runner weighed about 75 pounds and was near death, authorities said.

On Monday, two days after being arrested, Robinson, 38, appeared in court and was ordered to undergo evaluation by a psychiatrist to determine whether she’s fit to stand trial.

She faces up to five years in prison on a charge of wantonly and recklessly permitting substantial bodily injury to a child under 14, and up to two years in prison on a child endangerment charge.

A court psychiatrist testified that Robinson had signs of paranoia and a distrust of doctors.

A message left with her lawyer, William Concannon, was not immediately returned Monday.

The girl was found by paramedics in the family’s apartment Wednesday morning after they received a 911 call about an ill child. According to a police report, the girl was lying on a couch in the apartment wearing an oxygen mask.

Prosecutors said the girl’s infection was caused by her attempt to pierce her navel. The small flesh wound progressed to damage several of her organs.

Prosecutor David Deakin said at Monday’s court hearing that a doctor who treated the teenager said she likely would have been in “incredible pain” within 24 hours of the onset of the infection. Medical evidence, he said, indicated that the girl was sick for two to four weeks.

Robinson is due to return to court Aug. 26. She did not enter a plea to the two charges she faces, and no bail was set.


dang! some people…do you WAIT till your kid dies to get help…?? what in the hell was she thinking…some people just don’t deserve to be parents


Holy crap…

Mom…my stomach really hurts. It’s turned black and their pus running out of my belly button. I’ve also been puking after every meal.

Oh, don’t worry about it. I’m sure it will clear up. We’ll soak it in bread and milk later.

You need a license to drive, fish, hunt, have a gun, but anyone can be a parent.




I know a couple of people who have had awful trouble with blood infections as a result of navel piercing. One of them would up in hospital and fought the infection for over a year before it finally cleared up. And she had her piercing done “professionally”


You know, belly button piercings are STUPID!!! I got an idea, lets poke a hole in a place FULL of bacteria, and wonder why it gets INFECTED! Some people are DUMB, they’re just ASKING for an infection. I dunno about you guys, but I certainly wouldn’t want the stuff that accumulates in my belly button in my blood!!! That’s just NASTY, it’s gotta be full of all sorts of bacteria!!! I think if I were ever going to pierce it, I’d prep it EVERY DAY for a week with rubbing alcohol before I did it!!! A friend of mine had his tounge pierced, and it got infected. His tounge swelled up on him in the middle of the night, and he almost suffocated!!! He called 911 but couldn’t talk, and he couldn’t breathe enough to get out of bed either, but they got the address from the number, and they got there in 8 minutes. By the time they got there, he was unconcious, and they had to poke a hole in his throat so he could breathe!!! Needless to say he sued the people responsible for the piercing, he got a pretty nasty staff infection in there. All that so he could impress the ladies :rolleyes: !!!


You know, belly button piercings are STUPID!!!

So are comments like that, if the piercing is done correctly it is highly unlikely to become infected, your friends obviously wasnt as he was able to sue, get pierced in some back ally shop etc expect more than just a piercing, that mother doesnt deserve to have kids nuff said


The bass player in my band many years ago got an infectection in his newly pierced nipple and after the infection cleared up he let the piercing close up and… No more left nipple!!! It completely dissappeared!!


Yes, yes. We all feel that people should need to pass a test, rather than the practical, to become parents.

That said, we need stupid people around to make us all feel smart, & give the rest of us the self esteem to achieve great things!

  1. Stupid mother not realising what was wrong.
  2. Stupid kid piercing her own navel.

Natural selection at work, folks.


i’ve had my belly button pierced…and both nipps…but never had aproblem…till i ripped my belly ring out when i was in a hurry drying off one night …even then…i didn’t get an infection…the man who did mine was cleaner than a hospital operating room…he sterilized everything and even put anti-bacterial cream on all piercings just after doing them…and bandaged them up…i did that for the next 3 days and after that just a lil clean up with alcohol a couple times a day and they were good to go…

so it can be compared to computer users…some just have no business sitting in front of a computer and trying to write programs when they just learned to turn it on 3 days before…and some people don’t need piercings…plain and simple



I just didn’t want to appear cynical :wink:


This is wrong. I cant believe all the so called “educated” people out there, and this is the kind of conversation we get? First of all, a REAL professional piercer, is usually FAR cleaner than a hospital, because he’s not in a rush and has the time to clean EVERYTHING, and clean it WELL. Second of all, the piercings you’ll see on the average person, tongue, eyebrow, navel, ears, lips, nose, etc. carry next to NO risk when DONE PROFESSIONALLY, and PROPERLY taken care of. The things Im hearing DISGUST me! People cleaning their piercings with alcohol? Thats way too hard on it. Dries the skin out. Or Antibiotic cream? Again, a) too strong, and b) meant to REMOVE foreign objects from your body. The trick is to make your body want to keep the jewelery. At least once a day, soak the piercing for about 3 minutes in a solution of 1 cup distilled water to 1/8 teaspoon non-iodized sea salt. The Distilled water is available almost anywhere, and the non-iodized sea salt is available at most health food stores. This will GENTLY clean your piercing, and unless your a complete idiot, give you nearly a 100% guarantee of having a healthy, happy piercing for years, and years to come.


Dude, read the article … it reads … stupid 13yr old trailer trash pierces her own navel & stupid hillbilly mum is incompetent. It’s hard to project the article seriously beyond … hillybillys are their own population control :stuck_out_tongue:


I get my piercings done at the same place by the same guy who’s been doing this kind of thing for longer than he can remember.

If any of mine showed any sign of becoming infected my dad would have me in the car and back to the piercing studio or to the doctors.

I agree with rehab junkie up there ^


I realize the article was about the mom, and the daughter, and THEIR stupidity, my comment was referring to people, like the above, who think that piercings are “stupid”. Or people who get piercings and clean them with rubbing alcohol… it’s disgusting to me how people can make these comments, and do these things to their body, without doing their research first.


Opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has one.

My opinion is that … seeing piercings make me gag.