Alberta parents who treated sick boy with smoothies on trial for his death

A jury at the trial of a southern Alberta couple has been hearing how the parents gave their ill toddler homeopathic medicine in an attempt to heal him of meningitis.

LETHBRIDGE — A jury at the trial of a southern Alberta couple has been hearing how the parents gave their ill toddler homeopathic medicine in an attempt to heal him of meningitis.

David Stephan, 32, and his wife Collet Stephan, 35, have pleaded not guilty to failing to provide the necessities of life to 19-month-old Ezekiel, who died in March 2012.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Giles alleges the couple, who run a nutritional supplements company called Truehope Nutritional Support out of Raymond didn’t do enough to get the boy medical care.

The trial in Lethbridge has been told that the couple first thought the boy had croup and treated him with natural remedies and homemade smoothies containing hot pepper, ginger root, horseradish and onion.

At times his health seemed to improve, but his condition worsened.

Terrie Meynders, a family friend and registered nurse, testified that Collet Stephan called to ask her to look at Ezekiel.

“It did not jump out at me that he was that seriously ill,” said Meynders. But she did suggest that his illness could be internal, possibly viral meningitis.

“I think you should take him to see a doctor,” Meynders said she told the mother.

Meynders testified that she knew the Stephans were health conscious and she believed they would be better able to treat Ezekiel once they knew what was wrong with him.

Court heard the couple chose instead to take the boy to a naturopath.

During an recorded interview on March 15, 2012, Collet Stephan told RCMP that Ezekiel’s body was too stiff to get him into his car seat. The couple put a mattress in the back of their vehicle to take him to the naturopath.

David Stephan told an officer during his interview that he and his wife had come up with a “game plan” to give Ezekiel additional natural remedies for meningitis and, if the treatment didn’t help, they would take him to a hospital.

The couple said their son seemed to respond, was more relaxed and alert. He had a couple of naps after the family returned home from the naturopath and slept better than he had in a long time.

Then his condition grew worse.

“All of a sudden his breathing wasn’t normal,” his mother told RCMP.

The Stephans called 911 and performed CPR on the toddler as they drove to meet an ambulance from a nearby community. The boy stopped breathing several times.

“He was blue by the time we met up with the ambulance,” Collet Stephan told a Mountie.

The boy was taken to Lethbridge, then airlifted to Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. After five days, doctors took him off life support.

Just Posted

Man arrested in 2014 drug bust finally getting sentenced

Convicted drug dealer unsuccessfully tried to get case thrown out because of delays

New trail being developed through North Red Deer woods

This forest belt is known for having rough sleeper camps

Moms visit Red Deer’s overdose prevention site

Moms Stop The Harm meet in Red Deer

Lacombe County land dispute to be resolved

Landowners next to new Kuhnen Natural Area feared trespassing and liability issues

Average fall, cold winter ahead, The Weather Network predicts

Canadians can expect average temperatures this fall that will give way to… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Opinion: City must aim for zero per cent tax hike

Red Deer city council is discussing the benefits of multi-year budgets, which… Continue reading

NHL players stay with CBA, labour peace set to at least 2022

The National Hockey League will play its next three seasons without the… Continue reading

Tre Roberson, Stampeders edge Tiger-Cats for third win in a row

Stampeders 19 Tiger-Cats 18 CALGARY — A little bit of insight from… Continue reading

Veteran quarterback Harris’s status questionable for Edmonton Eskimos

He’s one of only two CFL quarterbacks to start all of his… Continue reading

Rapid rise of co-working providing needed space as big cities feel crunch

TORONTO — When Rahul Raj was ready to move his small but… Continue reading

No Deal: Auto workers strike against GM in contract dispute

DETROIT — More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked… Continue reading

CREA reports August home sales up from year ago, raises forecast for 2019

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association raised its forecast for home… Continue reading

Most Read