Toddler dies of meningitis after parents used home remedies rather than consult doctor

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ALBERTA, Canada – A couple is facing charges for actions they took when their child was diagnosed with meningitis.

In March 2012, 19-month-old Ezekiel died of meningitis after his parents treated him with home remedies rather than consult a doctor, CBC reports.

This week, David and Collet Stephan were in court facing charges for “failing to provide the necessaries of life” for their son.

According to CBC, when Ezekiel fell ill, David and Collet consulted a friend, who is a nurse, who told the couple their son most likely had meningitis and that he should see a doctor.

Instead of taking the boy to the hospital, the couple reportedly gave the boy various home remedies including water with maple syrup, juice with frozen berries and finally a mixture of apple cider vinegar, horse radish root, hot peppers, mashed onion, garlic and ginger root as his condition deteriorated.

The couple told police that they “prefer naturopathic remedies because of their family’s negative experiences with the medical system,” the CBC reports.

The couple is said only to have called the ambulance after their son stopped breathing.

The toddler was airlifted to a Calgary hospital where he was placed on life support.

After five days, doctors took the boy off life-support and he passed away.

When a social worker asked the couple what they would do if their other son became sick, they told her they would take him to a doctor “without hesitation.”

David and Collet Stephan both pleaded not guilty to “failing to provide the necessaries of life” for their 19-month-old son.

The trial is expected to go through the end of March, according to the couple’s Facebook page.


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