Homeless Black mom who left special needs son at hospital gets surprise courtroom support

Diana Elliot, overwhelmed by caring for her special needs son, was arrested for leaving him at a hospital, but she's supported by understanding moms

Diana Elliot (WXIA-TV)

Last week, an Atlanta mother who was arrested for abandoning her special needs teen son at a local hospital, received some unexpected support from a group of mothers who understand her plight.

Officials obtained surveillance video from the night of Dec. 4 that clearly shows Diana Elliott walking into Grady Memorial Hospital with her son Sheldon Linden on the night of Dec. 4, but then leaving the facility alone.

READ MORE: Atlanta mother arrested after abandoning special needs teen son at hospital

On Wednesday, Elliott, 37, was arrested after police found her at a DeKalb County hotel with her three other children. Police say she confessed to investigators that she was overwhelmed with the task of caring for Sheldon in addition to her other children.

After her story made headlines, Atlanta station WXIA reports on Thursday, Elliot was granted a signature bond in lieu of the $10,000 payment by a judge, along with a surprise visit from a community of mothers who also have children with down syndrome.

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When the assistant district attorney asked Elliot where she would be living if released, one of the moms, Carla Griffin, raised her hand and declared, “She will live with me. We are family now.”

It turns out ten years ago Griffin found herself in a similar position, when she had also left her 17-year-old special needs son at the hospital due to being overwhelmed.

An organization called Black Mama’s Bail Out also stepped forward to say they would cover any expense it would take to get the single mother out of jail.

“This isn’t just today. We are not leaving her. We are not leaving this family. We are in this for the long haul,” said Sheryl Arno, Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta.

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