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From Wheelchairs To Teeth Removal, A List of All Gypsy Rose Blanchard's Unnecessary Medical Procedures

In The Act, a character based on Gypsy Rose Blanchard undergoes numerous medical procedures at the direction of her mother. Which ones really happened?

By Gina Tron

Gypsy Rose Blanchard appeared to be an incredibly sick child and teen, which was just what her mother wanted.

In fact, her mother, Clauddine "Dee Dee" Blanchard, pretended Gypsy had leukemia, muscular dystrophy, and other ailments in a suspected case of Munchausen by proxy — now known as factitious disorder imposed on another — shaving her head to make her look sick, and keeping the girl wheelchair-bound and essentially trapped.

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Dee Dee was never diagnosed because she was found brutally stabbed to death in 2015 in the home she and her daughter shared after Gypsy enlisted her online boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, to kill her. Gypsy, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the slaying, was let out prison on parole on December 28, 2023. Godejohn, who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, remains behind bars.

Hulu's The Act, a true-crime limited series, is based on the events leading up to Dee Dee's killing and depicts many of the “ailments” that the real-life Dee Dee inflicted on her daughter. So which forced procedures and made-up diseases shown in the series did Dee Dee actually enforce upon Gypsy in reality?

Gypsy Rose Blanchard speaks in court

Feeding Tube

One of the more dramatic, and painful to watch, procedures that Gypsy undergoes in The Act is getting a feeding tube inserted. A feeding tube is a medical device which is used to provide nutrition to people who are unable to consume food by mouth. In the show, Gypsy had a feeding tube inserted into her stomach.

In real life, Gypsy did actually have a feeding tube inserted into her body, according to BuzzFeed News.

RELATED: Gypsy Rose Blanchard Released from Prison Early, Regrets Plotting Mom's Murder "Every Single Day"

Rotted teeth

On the show, the dramatized Gypsy's teeth rot, and she's forced to have them all removed. In real life, Gypsy’s teeth also rotted and were removed, according to Rolling Stone, although it’s not clear exactly why.

Rolling Stone theorized that it could be anything from the result of unnecessary prescription medications or just a lack of dental hygiene. It was speculated it was due to the medication Gypsy was prescribed due to her alleged epilepsy or because Gypsy’s salivary glands were removed (again at the request of her mother, who Gypsy alleges numbed her gums so Gypsy would drool, convincing doctors to remove them), says Michelle Dean, who wrote a BuzzFeed article about what Gypsy went through.

Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard


Gypsy was put on a lot of medication. As for how much, “no one really knows the answer to that question,” Dean told Oxygen.com. “The only person who could answer that question is dead and she probably wouldn't have answered that question truthfully.”

RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About the Gypsy Rose Blanchard Case

Multiple surgeries

In addition to the feeding tube being inserted and a surgery to have her salivary glands removed, Gypsy underwent several other surgeries, according to Dean. Although she said she couldn’t specify what the surgeries were, she said there were “quite a few surgical procedures where Gypsy had to undergo anesthesia.”

RELATED: Gypsy Rose Blanchard Gets Back Together With Fiancé Almost Immediately After Breakup

Shaved Head

On both the show and in real life, Gypsy's mother shaved her head, leaving her completely bald. "Well, she’d shave my hair off. And she’d say, ‘It’s gonna fall out anyway, so let’s keep it nice and neat!’," Gypsy explained, according to Dean.

The wheelchair

Just like in the show, Gypsy was forced to use a wheelchair. Her mother helped her fake that she was paralyzed from the waist down, Gypsy once said on an episode of Dr. Phil.

Originally published Mar 26, 2019.