LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Just days before a 19-month-old Alberta boy was rushed to hospital and died from bacterial meningitis his family was giving him fluids through an eyedropper.
Court documents from the trial of David and Collet Stephan also indicate that Ezekiel's body was so stiff and sore that he couldn't be placed in a car seat.
The Stephans are charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life for Ezekiel in 2012.
Toddler was treated with natural remedies
The boy, who had been given smoothies with hot peppers and horseradish when he became ill with what his parents thought was croup, stopped breathing and died in hospital.
"They also ensured he was getting plenty of fluids with the eyedropper, as he would not drink on his own, and they additionally started him on (an electrolyte and amino acid supplement),'' wrote Dr. Jenn D'Mello in her assessment of the case.
"On March 11th (2012), Ezekiel's symptoms worsened again. He would not eat or drink, was lethargic and they noticed his body to be very stiff. These symptoms persisted on March 12th and he started being so stiff that his back was arched.''
Died in hospital
D'Mello's assessment from March 15, 2012, said that Ezekiel "met criteria for brain death.''
Ezekiel died the next day. Pathologist Dr. Bamidele Adeagbo listed the cause of death "as a result of bacterial meningitis and right pleural empyema (lung infection).''
D'Mello's report noted that Collet Stephan never saw a physician during her pregnancy and did not have any blood tests or ultrasounds done before Ezekiel's home birth.
David Stephan testified Wednesday that his son had never been taken to a medical doctor.
Stephan also said he's not 100 per cent convinced Ezekiel died of meningitis, but he acknowledged "it's very likely.'' He added there are still come elements of confusion about the case.
Collet Stephan is to testify today.
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