In the 80s, the shocking story of the “chicken girl” was the main theme of the Portuguese newspapers. She simultaneously frightened and attracted her wildness. Nobody could believe that this happened in their prosperous and civilized country.Maria Isabel Quaresma Dos Santos (Maria Isabel Quaresma Dos Santos) was born June 6, 1970 on a small, modest farm in the village of Tabua, near the city of Coimbra. The girl was born the most ordinary, without psychic abnormalities, however these deviations were from her mother and the doctors later confirmed her severe mental disorder.
When Maria Isabel was only a year old, her mother took the girl to the chicken coop and left her to the mercy of fate.
Now the house where the girl’s family lived, completely destroyed
The next 9 years the girl spent surrounded by chickens, eating grain, cabbage leaves and other scraps that the family fed cattle. Mother refused to consider the girl not only a member of her family, but also a human being.Other relatives pretended that nothing was happening. The older brothers of Maria Isabel grew up ordinary children, the mother took care of them and loved them. They attended school and played with other children.
At the same time, all the local residents knew that a girl lives in the hen house of the Dos Santos family, but nobody cared about it, no one even thought of helping the child and no one condemned this family.
A little hope for Maria Isabel flashed when in 1976 one of her aunts complained about the girl’s parents and wanted the doctor to examine the child. The girl was indeed shown to the doctors and they recognized her as a serious disabled person.But the further fate of the child again did not disturb anyone, the aunt could not find a place for a girl in a mental hospital, and ordinary hospitals refused to take her. And the girl was returned to the chicken coop. In 1980, nurse Maria Bichao of the Torres Vedras Hospital clinic learned from other nurses that a demented girl lives in Tabua, who is kept together with chickens in a barn. Bihao was shocked by this story and decided to find a girl and help her.
Maria Bihao came to Tabua, found the right house and pulled out 10-year-old Maria Isabel from prison. She brought the child to her home and the girl lived with the nurse for 15 days. When Maria understood from the behavior of the girl that the case was very serious, she contacted the journalists in the capital and asked for their help.
Soon, photographs of Maria Isabel were on the front pages of all the newspapers in the country.
“It is very difficult to imagine how you could really survive in such conditions,” says journalist Maria Catalina from the newspaper Lisbon,
“But even more shocking is human indifference.” The doctors learned about the girl 4 years ago, but no one helped her. ”
A great role in the future fate of Maria Isabel was played by Manuela Eanes, the first lady of Portugal. With her help, the girl was brought to the largest rehabilitation center in the country.
The doctors of the center were shocked by the habits of the girl, she was mentally undeveloped, but copied the behavior of the hens with great accuracy.
“From what I have observed so far, I can say that this is a child suffering from intellectual insufficiency, most likely caused by social orphanhood.” Maria Isabel’s behavior is at an elementary biological level, that is, she has only primary reactions of the animal or person, “the director of the Center reported in 1980.
Maria Isabel looked deeply withdrawn, withdrawn and no one had ever seen her tears. And she constantly moved like a chicken. She got up, took a couple of steps and crouched, while she moved her bent hands as if they were wings. The girl did not speak at all, only made a laughing sound from time to time, when she wanted to attract someone’s attention. She did not just spend all her childhood with chickens, she did not have any contact with people, although her mother and brothers came to the chicken coop daily to feed the chickens and collect eggs.
Also, due to poor nutrition almost one grain, Maria Isabel had problems with growth, she seemed to be not a 10-year-old child, but on the strength of 5-year-old. And her mental development did not exceed the development of a two-year-old child.
Many doctors and psychologists worked with Maria Isabel, but even after 10 years of rehabilitation she did not learn to speak, but expressed all her emotions with gestures. And she still continued to make small chicken steps and clap her hands.
Only at the age of 27 did she learn to walk normally over short distances, and also learned to use the chair as ordinary people, rather than climbing on it with her legs.The psychologist Christina Conceis, who constantly works with Maria Isabelle, considers her patient to be smart enough, as she can now at least gesture to show what she wants and what she does not want.
Maria Isabel was 48 years old recently. Many journalists dream to meet with her and write about her sensational material, but doctors carefully conceal it from the press. A woman lives in a medical facility in Fatima.