Toddler dies after anti-vaccine parents tried to cure him with maple syrup
“In a bid to boost his immune system, the couple gave the boy—who was lethargic and becoming stiff—various home remedies,” reports said
This Alberta couple is facing charges for failing to "provide the necessities of life" after they refused to seek medical help for their meningitis-stricken toddler, and instead used home remedies to cure him.
Reports said that the parents told police that 19-month-old Ezekiel had been sick for weeks; the symptoms included fever and runny nose. He also had difficulties breathing.
“In a bid to boost his immune system, the couple gave the boy—who was lethargic and becoming stiff—various home remedies,” reports said.
This included water with maple syrup, juice with frozen berries, and finally a cocktail made from apple cider vinegar, horse radish root, hot peppers, mashed onion, garlic and ginger root.
The couple only called an ambulance when Ezekiel stopped breathing.
He was then airlifted to a hospital in Calgary, but five days later the doctors could no longer do anything to help him, and they had to take him off life support machines.
The doctors said that Ezekiel had meningitis.
David Stephan and his wife Collet Stephan have received significant backlash after their story went viral online, with a lot of people criticising their decision to address their child’s illness through alternative means.
In a Facebook post where the couple shared their ordeal, they said that pro-vaccination groups were singling them out for choosing not to vaccinate Ezekiel.
“The situation that Collet and I find ourselves in, is that there is an organization that is attempting to offer our family up on the sacrificial altar of the vaccine industry," they wrote.
“Whether you are for vaccinations, selectively vaccinate or take concern with safety issues and don’t vaccinate altogether, the beautiful thing is is that you have the choice. You have the choice to educate yourself and make an informed decision as to what goes into your’s and your children’s bodies.”
It remains unclear whether or not the toddler suffered from bacterial or viral meningitis, but the CDC says that both types could have been prevented with vaccinations.