Two Canadian parents have been accused of letting their 19-month-old son die on meningitis after refusing medical treatment in favour of their own home remedies.
David and Collet Stephen own a famously fraudulent nutritional company called Truehope, which supplies supplements claiming it can cure a range of ailments such as Autism, ADD, ADHD, Stress Depression, Fatigue and Anxiety. Even though Truehope has been sued by Health Canada for supplying ‘dangerous supplements’, the Stephans seem to have drank their own Koolaid, trying to treat their own son with their supplements.
19-month-old Ezekiel was suffering from meningitis, an infection of the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can easily prevented by immunising your child or treated with modern antibiotics. David and Collet attempted to cure meningitis by giving Ezekiel olive leaf extract, whey protein, water with maple syrup and juice with frozen berries. Ezekiel’s condition worsened steadily over two weeks and the Stephens responded by changing treatment to apple cider vinegar, horseradish root, hot peppers, onion, garlic and ginger root.
When Ezekiel finally stopped breathing he was airlifted to hospital, but irreversible damage was already done, he died after five days on life support.
The couple have gone to social media to claim they are being “unjustly persecuted”, pleading not guilty on all charges and asking their supporters to donate cash to their fund to fight their case.
If convicted, the Stephans could receive up to five years in jail in a similar fashion to those parents who have been prosecuted for attempting faith healing over medicine.