The mother, a 42-year-old nurse, admitted her son to a hospital in Turin, northern Italy, where she allegedly gave him doses of insulin to create symptoms similar to those of serious illnesses, La Stampa reported.
Although the doses were not large enough to kill her son, the four-year-old suffered a cerebral edema, a swelling of the brain, and was in a semi-conscious state.
As the child failed to respond to treatment the mother appeared to grow more and more desperate.
Eventually, a member of staff noticed that the child’s condition appeared to get worse every time her mother came to visit him and reported her.
A secret video camera was then installed in the child’s room where the mother was caught adding insulin to her son’s drip-feed.
The mother was promptly arrested and accused of attempted murder.
The woman is suspected to be a sufferer of Münchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological condition where the caretaker of a child, usually the mother, either makes up fake symptoms or causes real symptoms to make it look like their child is ill in order to get attention and sympathy.
The woman’s family are said to be in shock.