COLUMBUS, N.C. (AP) -- The mother of an obese seven-year-old says county social workers have gained temporary custody of the boy.
Joyce Painter's son, Justin, is at Duke University participating in a special weight program. He recently weighed 254 pounds, but Painter says he has lost some of the weight.
Painter told The Times-News of Hendersonville that a Wednesday court hearing in Polk County will determine whether she can retain custody.
She says the dispute is over recommended surgery for Justin's knees. While Duke and the Department of Social Services recommended that Justin have surgery soon because his weight has severely damaged his knees, Painter said she objected to it because she wanted it done closer to their Polk County home.
Social workers have declined to comment on the case, citing confidentiality laws.