Like many toddlers, Zak Hessey was a fussy eater who refused his mother’s healthy home cooking.
Concerned about his falling weight, his parents sought the advice of doctors. That simple act triggered a shocking chain of events that led to the youngster being put into foster care for four months.
Paul and Lisa Hessey believe in the long-term benefits of healthy eating and rejected advice to feed their two-year-old son high-calorie snack food such as chocolate, crisps and cakes.
To their horror, social workers put Zak into foster care ‘to assess his needs’ and allegedly threatened the couple with the loss of their parental rights if they fought the decision in court.
‘I was absolutely devastated, I broke down in tears,’ recalled Mrs Hessey, 48. ‘I was scared out of my wits. I phoned Paul to tell him and he just broke down on the phone.’
But they went to court and, after four months, Zak returned home with the blessing of social services, who accepted he had good and caring parents.