She shaved his eyebrows and his head, took photos of her little boy and set up a GoFundMe page that accrued over $50,000. And as her son, 3 at the time, underwent what turned out to be unnecessary medical treatment, she convinced hospital staff that she was a doctor.
So believable were Monika Burgett's claims that while her son was administered drugs including Oxycodone and methadone at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre she became a member of the hospital's health care team.
Eventually doctors grew suspicious of what Burgett was saying about her son's symptoms and alerted the county's family services, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.
How did she manage to get that far in the first place? According to Burgett's lawyer, she was with her former husband as he progressed through medical school and "at some point, she adopted the idea that she was a physician".
Her lawyer says she did lie about her medical qualifications but her child was suffering from poor health and she was trying to get help for him.
The boy, now 5, has been removed from her custody as Burgett faces charges of child abuse, felonious assault and telecommunications fraud after the bizarre orchestration.