UPDATED: Toddler Victim of Anti-Vaxxer and Alternative Medicine Trends

Toddler died from meningitis after anti-vaxxer parents treated him with home remedies instead of medicine

Herbs and spices with mortar and bottle with oil

UPDATED 03/11/2016
We often mix humor with our articles to help emphasize various important points. Not this time.
We recently published an article on the origins of the ‘Anti-Vaxxer‘ movement, and another on ‘alternative medicine‘. We’re bringing it up again because of the following tragedy that occurred in 2012. 
Collet Stephan, 35, and her husband David Stephan, 32, face up to five years in jail for failing to provide the necessities of life to 19-month-old Ezekiel, who died in March 2012.

David Stephan, 32, and his wife Collet Stephan, 35, have pleaded not guilty to failing to provide the necessities of life for 19-month-old Ezekiel, who died in March 2012. RCMP said at the time that the boy had been ill for a couple of weeks but his parents only called for an ambulance when he stopped breathing. He was airlifted to a hospital in Calgary and, after five days, doctors took him off life support machines. Doctors told the boy’s parents he died of meningitis. [1]

A treatment that has proven effective and could have saved the child, the vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), was not sought.

The parents tried to boost the boy’s immune system by feeding him with olive leaf extract, whey protein, water with maple syrup and juice with frozen berries. They finally fed the boy, who was becoming stiff and lethargic after two weeks of illness, a mixture of apple cider vinegar, horseradish root, hot peppers, onion, garlic and ginger root. [2]

Lexie Vataman, who fills holistic prescriptions at the Lethbridge Naturopathic Medical Clinic, told a jury Wednesday that she received a call from Collet Stephan in March 2012.said Vataman.

“She needed something to build up her baby’s immune system,”

“She said, ‘My baby might have a form of meningitis and we think it might be viral and not bacterial.”‘

The Stephans run a nutritional supplements company called Truehope Nutritional Support Inc. out of Raymond, Alta.

Health Canada launched an unsuccessful court case in 2004 to try to stop the distribution of the company’s supplement Empowerplus — a product the company claims can manage mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder — and also issued warnings about it.

Court also heard the Stephans tried treating Ezekiel with Empowerplus.

The family has posted on social media that they feel they are being unfairly persecuted and that their approach to health should be respected. [4]

David Stephan says that there is no evidence that immunization and treatment would have prevented his son’s death. He has reportedly written in social media that this prosecution is just a way of bullying parents into vaccinating children even if they are personally opposed to it. We at SDHoS respectfully disagree. There IS evidence that  vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) has successfully treated meningitis. What there is NO evidence for is the effectiveness of a mixture of apple cider vinegar, horseradish root, hot peppers, onion, garlic, and ginger root used in its place.

This tragedy appears to be the another example of misplaced confidence in unproven ‘home remedies’.

We at SDHoS implore you; before employing alternate medicine, please ensure that you have taken full advantage of actual medicine. We love our readers, and want them to live a long, long time.


[1] Source: The Huffington Post

[2] Source: RawStory

[3] More Information on vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

[4] Source: CBC News, Calgary

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