CALGARY – According to prosecutors, a seven-year-old boy who died from a treatable strep infection three years ago was treated with dandelion tea and oil of oregano instead of antibiotics.
Ryan Alexander Lovett‘s mother, 47-year-old Tamara Lovett, is charged with failing to provide the “necessaries of life” and criminal negligence.
Prosecutor Jonathan Hak said in his opening arguments in a Calgary courtroom that the family “lived off the grid in a dark, dirty apartment. The boy’s birth had never been registered.”
From the National Post:
An autopsy revealed the boy had contracted Group A streptococcus infection and pneumonia. The official cause of death was sepsis which brought on multi-organ failure.
“In the last days of his life, Ryan was actively dying,” the prosecutor said.
Hak said Ryan’s heart was infected, he had meningitis and his immune system was exhausted. He could fight no more.
“In short, Ryan was dead,” Hak said.
Even though she was implored by a friend, Lovett would not take her son to the doctor.
“She did not believe in conventional medicine or doctors,” Hak said. “She was, of course, proven wrong when hours later, Ryan died in her apartment.
A simple round of antibiotics would have save his life.
Teresa Coulter was one of the first emergency medical technicians to arrive and said paramedics were greeted by a woman who was very upset.
She said the basement apartment was dark and smelled strongly of marijuana. Ryan was lying on the floor.
“He appeared to be lifeless,” said Coulter. “He was cold to touch.”
She said the apartment was cluttered and it was difficult to get equipment inside. A second ambulance was called to provide backup.
“They were living in an invisible way on the fringes of society,” family friend Barbara La Pointe testified. “Essentially speaking, Ryan was completely isolated. He did not have many friends and certainly did not have a best friend.
According to Canada’s Global News, La Pointe began caring for Ryan his mother was working. She said the last time she dropped him off at home he cried, saying he didn’t want to go home.
When she saw him the day before he died, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
“I was utterly surprised at the gravity of Ryan’s illness,” she said. “Ryan was a shell of a shell of a shell of how I dropped him off. I could see his eyes were sunken in, his cheeks were hollow.”
Ryan told La Pointe that he had been in bed without food for a week.
When she confronted Lovett as to what was going on, Lovett said she needed to flush Ryan’s system out and was giving him dandelion tea.
In her testimony according to Global News, La Pointe said she asked Lovett to bring him to the doctor, but Lovett was “over the top about the tea.”
The next day, Ryan was dead.
Featured image via National Post