Isabelle Jessich went to court Friday with two goals: to regain her liberty from a court-appointed guardian and to prevent him from selling her Edina home to pay $100,000 in fees for himself and seven lawyers.
Jessich succeeded in getting control of everything but her money, but she now faces the prospect of being sent back to a nursing home while her 17-year-old daughter could be placed in foster care.
Jessich, 57, has been battling for 20 months to take control of her life from Joseph Vogel, a professional guardian and conservator appointed by a Hennepin County judge in December 2008 to make decisions for her. Last year, Jessich made major strides to overcome the eating disorder, neurological problems and alcoholism that had made her a ward of the court. But Vogel would not let her leave a Robbinsdale nursing home and rejoin her daughter Allison, who was left to fend for herself.
After the Star Tribune reported on Jessich's situation in August 2009, state inspectors investigated and cited Robbinsdale Rehab and Care Center for failing to release Jessich. She moved back home in December. Since then, Jessich testified Friday, she has continued with physical therapy and other recovery activities. She said she is leading a "normal life."
But her struggle with Vogel over her finances could bring chaos back into her life. Vogel said he's owed almost $25,000, and lawyers in the case -- whose fees must be paid by Jessich -- have racked up more than $80,000 in bills. Vogel can't get access to Jessich's sizable inheritance in Belgium, worth at least $200,000, because Belgian officials don't recognize his authority, Vogel said.
Full Article and Source:
Edina Woman Gets Control of Life, May Lose Home
Isabelle Jessich, "My Sweet Home"