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Naturopath mom lets her kids suffer from whooping cough because it’s an ‘immune-building process’

A woman claiming to be a “board-certified naturalistic doctor” posted a blog last month describing her experience of letting her three children, one as young as nine months, contract pertussis as way to build immunity to the diseases.

A woman claiming to be a “board-certified naturalistic doctor” posted a blog last month describing her experience letting her three children, one as young as nine months, contract pertussis as way to build immunity to the diseases.

Heather Dexter of Grand Rapids, Michigan posted the story on www.LikeMindedMamas.com. The post was subsequently taken down after a significant backlash. However, another blogger on the site, Britt Hermes, was able to take a screen shot of the article titled Natural Remedies for Whooping Cough before it was removed.

In the post, Dexter tells of her three children contracting pertussis last year and how she experimented with natural remedies while her kids suffered for months. She said her eldest was first be stricken with the highly infectious disease, followed by the two younger siblings very soon after.

“It was perhaps what could be considered the most traumatic period of my life,” Dexter said. “Each child’s attitude and expression towards daily life was excessively dramatized as we endured a VERY lengthy immune building process.”

While she describes the ordeal as “traumatic,” the five months of torture her young children went through not only placed their lives at risk but might cause them to suffer life-long repercussions.

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a bacterial infection that spreads through the respiratory system causing a characteristic whooping sound when coughing. The disease is extremely infectious and every so often, causes death among children. It can also lead to brain damage, pneumonia, encephalitis, and seizures years later.

Before vaccinations, whooping cough killed roughly 9,000 people in the United States each year. Pertussis vaccine has lowered the annual deaths to less than 30, however that number has started to rise since the number of parents refusing vaccinations for their children is also increasing.

Those who are infected with pertussis painfully endure the high-pitched cough which could last as long as 10 weeks. Dexter described her children as coughing so hard that they often vomited and turned purple while gasping for air.

“During the night, L would cough until he barfed up mucus, proceeded by crying and screaming fits,” Dexter said. “He was genuinely terrified each and every time he woke from sleep without breath.”

Normally, whooping cough is treated with antibiotics while under strict, professional medical care and observation. However Dexter, who has no medical training or experience, used homeopathic folk remedies and herbal treatments instead of proven life-saving methods.

Needless to say, her children got worse as the illness progressed and they continued to suffer horribly.

About 150 days later and hundreds of dollars spent on natural remedies and consultations with naturopathic “doctors,” her kids began to show signs of improvement. Dexter said the ordeal was a “living hell” and it made her question her commitment to the practice of natural medicine. 

In the end, Dexter described her children’s victory over the disease as her own triumph and without the need of traditional medical care.

“We made it through using only natural remedies,” Dexter said. “My children developed REAL and TRUE immunity from being exposed to this bacteria and fighting it off naturally. It has been my biggest challenge to date as a mother. This mother conquered.”

It is unknown if her kids sustained long-term lung damage or any enduring medical complications from the experience. However, letting young children suffer needlessly from a life-threatening disease that’s easily preventable, borders on child abuse.

Featured image via likemindedmamas.com

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Jeffrey Seleb

    November 6, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    These children should be removed from this home.

  2. Betty

    November 6, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    She should be jailed for child abuse, also. What in incredibly stupid creature. Better she should run experiments on HERSELF than her helpless children. Bubonic plague is also an “immunity building” experience. Perhaps she can obtain a sample from the CDC and try it.

  3. armando ramirez

    November 6, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Why hasn’t anyone contacted CPS? Oh, her white & pretty.

  4. Baroness

    November 7, 2015 at 2:58 am

    Munchausen by proxy

  5. LicensedND

    November 7, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    This person is not a licensed naturopathic doctor. And yes, she has seriously and irresponsibly endangered her children.

    Britt Hermes is an embittered ND on a vendetta against legitimate naturopathic medicine, and she will knowingly lump untrained “naturopaths” with state-licensed doctors who have attended accredited doctoral programs.

    Unfortunately, the term naturopathic doctors is not protected by law in all states, and anyone call call themselves that..

  6. LicensedND

    November 7, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Clarification, anyone in unlicensed states can call themselves naturopathic doctors.

  7. OregonMamaND

    November 8, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I am a Naturopathic Physician practicing family medicine in the state of Oregon where we are licensed as PCPs and routinely encourage families to vaccinate their children. The main difference is that we are willing to work with parents who feel strongly regarding using alternative and extended schedules. We fill an important gap in being willing to work with these families and help them to make responsible choices regarding their children’s health who would otherwise not seek medical care at all or avoid vaccinations altogether. Just to be clear- those graduates of accredited naturopathic medical schools are NOT against vaccination. PLEASE stop lumping us all in with all the “mail order naturopaths” who practice in unlicensed states and make outrageous claims that can endanger public health.

    For the record, this woman whatever she may claim is NOT a Naturopathic Doctor (ND). She did NOT graduate from an accredited medical school and she is working in an unlicensed state where anyone can call themselves a “naturopath” because there is no board or regulations to enforce it.

    Purposefully exposing young children to whooping cough, which can have life long effects on developing lungs, is paramount to abuse and bragging about it is down right idiotic. If a child contracts whooping cough naturally and parents choose to treat it naturally I fully support that, as unless antibiotics are given in the first two weeks of the illness (usually before the characteristic “whoop” has begun) they do not significantly alter the course of the disease. However, if there were infants in the household who hadn’t yet developed the disease I would make every effort to protect them to avoid the months of torture for the whole family.

    Please understand that this is why NDs need licensing in every state so that people without proper medical training can’t tarnish the word “naturopath” by providing sub-standard care. Lumping licensed NDs in with people who obtain a “certificate of naturopathy” (which is what Ms Dexter above has and is in no way a medical license) continues to skew the public view of the profession and causes significant harm in the efforts to obtain licensing in every state to protect the public. Please educate yourself and your readers before making broad claims about naturopathic medicine as most of the above statements regarding the naturopathic profession are greatly outdated and/or only promoted in unlicensed circles.

    For references on the stance of the licensed naturopathic profession please see the following AANP article: http://www.naturopathic.org/Files/Committees/HOD/Position%20Paper%20Docs/Papers%20with%20Track%20Changes/Immunizations%20(minor%20edits%20with%20track%20changes).pdf

  8. Kathy Gray

    November 10, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    “how dare she” let’s burn her at the stake!!!!

  9. Steph

    January 22, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    you’re a bright one, aren’t you?

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