What happened to Megan Bhari? | The teen who faked a brain tumour

Megan Bhari

What did Megan Bhari do? 

Megan Bhari founded the charity Believe in Magic when she was only 16 after being diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension when she was just 13 years old. 

The charity grew in status and famous people started getting involved in it. However, people in the cancer community began getting suspicious of the charity when Megan’s mother, Jean, posted on Facebook that Megan’s brain tumour had grown “tentacles” and she needed her supporters to donate £120,000 for emergency treatment in America. In a supposed twist, Megan’s condition improved just weeks later. Megan and Jean were also found to be staying in a luxury hotel at a Disneyland resort, when they claimed Megan was hooked up to IVs in hospital and fighting for her life. This led to the theory that Megan had never been sick.

What happened to Megan Bhari? 

In 2018, Megan tragically died at the age of just 23 but mystery surrounded what she actually died of. It has been theorized that Megan may have been the victim of something known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy. This is when a parent exaggerates symptoms of illness or makes their children sick for attention.

An inquest found that Megan was ill but not of the thing she and her mother had claimed, and the illness wasn’t as severe as they claimed. A post-mortem examination found that Megan did not have a brain tumour, but that she did have severe fatty liver disease and had been treated for opioid dependency.

Where is Jean now?

Megan’s mother Jean maintains her daughter had a brain tumour, but the post-mortem confirms this wasn’t the case and they defrauded many people of money to get a trip to Disney. It was a tragedy what happened to Megan, but it raises questions about the authenticity of people who set up these ‘Make a Wish’ type foundations. 

Believe in Magic is a podcast about Megan’s story that was released on BBC Sounds in 2023. 

What do you think of Megan Bhari’s strange case? Let us know in the comments below.

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