A Conversation with Teresa Heartchild and Franke James

Freeing Teresa: A True Story about My Sister and Me

This webcast replay is a conversation with Teresa Heartchild and Franke James about their book “Freeing Teresa: A True Story about My Sister and Me”. 

Freeing Teresa is a true story about sibling and activist, Franke James, who tries to stop her powerful siblings from putting their disabled sister, Teresa Heartchild, into a nursing home. 

 When Franke heard her siblings’ plan to put Teresa into a nursing home she immediately objected and offered to care for Teresa in her home. But Franke was told that Teresa, who has Down syndrome, had lost her right to decide. She had been declared “not capable” by a social worker. Franke asked  “What about Teresa’s human rights?”, Teresa didn’t want to be there. 

The other siblings, now acting as Teresa’s “guardians,” insisted they had all the decision-making power. So, Franke put a team together and helped Teresa get discharged. That’s when all hell broke loose. The two sisters had to stand together—against their other siblings, the medical system and the police—to defend Teresa’s right to be free.

This story is both riveting and heartbreaking. It highlights the importance of issues siblings can eventually face, such as housing, finance, human rights and family dynamics.

You will appreciate this conversation without having read the book but if you wish to read the book you can find it at Indigo and Amazon