NEWS
01/23/2017 13:20 EST | Updated 01/24/2018 00:12 EST

CP NewsAlert: Judge rules Calgary mother criminally negligent in son's death

CALGARY — A Calgary woman who treated her son with holistic remedies before he died of a strep infection has been found guilty of criminal negligence causing death.

But the judge issued a judicial stay on a second charge against Tamara Lovett of failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Lovett gave her seven-year-old son Ryan dandelion tea and oil of oregano when he developed the infection that kept him bedridden for 10 days in March 2013.

The judge said Lovett "gambled away" her son's life and any reasonable parent would not wait until a child was near death to seek help. 

The judge said it should have been obvious to Lovett that Ryan was suffering from more than an ear infection and that he was on a "downward spiral."

A doctor testified at Lovett's trial that Ryan could have been saved if he had been given antibiotics.

Yet, the judge pointed out, it did not occur to Lovett that a doctor's visit was in order.

"A reasonable parent would have brought Ryan in to see a doctor," Justice Kristine Eidsvik said in her verdict Monday. "Ryan did not get better, but got worse and worse."

Alberta's chief medical examiner testified at Lovett's trial that the boy's body was full of group A streptococcus, which caused most of his major organs to fail.

The medical examiner also said it appeared that Ryan had died well before paramedics responded to a panic-stricken, early-morning 911 call from Lovett.

The trial heard how Lovett told police officers she thought Ryan was suffering from a cold or the flu, and that he seemed to be getting better.

Just a couple of days before he died, he was complaining of pain in his leg, his eyes became jaundiced and he couldn't stand on his own, she said during a police interview.

She said she called 911 after he began convulsing and collapsed.

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