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Toddler Dies After Anti-Vaxx Parents Treat Meningitis With Maple Syrup

The Mormon parents, David and Collet Stephens, are staunch anti vax’s and own their own nutritional supplement company.

There are so many layers to the lunacy of this approach that I am struggling to know where to start. Having spent nearly 20 years in the Byron Bay area and working for many years in a large K-12 Steiner school I have had my fair share of exposure to this approach. I would say that I am quite open minded when it comes to the argument of for and against vaccines but this is not what we are discussing here. In the case of a severely ill child there is a line and in this case, it was well and truly crossed.

My son nearly died from meningococcal at four months which, to this day, is one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. The pain experienced by someone suffering any form of meningitis is likened to a severe migraine, combined with a heavy flu times 10. The body becomes so traumatized by the level of pain that it starts to shut down. In cases involving children, they often become despondent and eventually lose consciousness.

Nineteen month old Ezekiel had been dangerously sick for several weeks and the parents were advised by a friend who was a qualified nurse that he was most probably suffering from meningitis. As the parents went about treating him with various home remedies such as vinegar, horseradish and maple syrup, his condition continued to worsen. Eventually he lost consciousness and an ambulance was called. It was too late. I shudder to comprehend the pain this child had endured.

I am not, for one minute, opposed to the use of home remedies, diet and supplements for the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and good health. What I do have an issue with, is the decision of parents to implement such measures in cases that are life threatening. If you wish to treat yourself in this way, go for gold. My feeling is that if you were the one experiencing this level of suffering, you may well rethink your staunch approach.

Children, especially babies and toddlers, are so incredibly vulnerable. More often than not, when ill, they are incapable of expressing what is going on for them. It is our job as parents to read the many other signs and symptoms to help inform us of the severity of their illness. Furthermore, our job as parents is to protect our children. That protection, in it’s rawest form is keeping them alive; protecting them from death! Surely this is a no brainer under any religion, belief or doctrine.

If your child attempts to run across the road in front of a moving car, you reach out and grab them in an attempt to save their life. How is it when struck down by a life threatening illness, so little is done? What infuriates me is the justification under the guise of a certain belief set. Our children rely on us to believe that their life is the most important thing in the world. When a child dies because we have, in our ignorance overlooked this; neglect doesn’t even begin to sum it up!

Written by Jules Allen

Jules Allen is a former MasterChef contestant and a single mother with four children who has been a foster mother to 29 children over the past 15 years.

Jules considers herself as an ‘earth mother’. With four kids: two sons, Jay and Ishy (16 and 17), daughters Elisha (21) and India (18). Her family is a blend of her own, adopted and foster children.

The importance of good food in healing damaged lives is paramount to Jules, and she does this by raising awareness through school talks around the country and encouraging the next generation to do what they can to make a difference.

Jules is an ambassador for Meals On Wheels - an organisation legendary across Australia for its work in providing nutritious meals on a daily basis to those in need.

Her contribution to foster care and child protection, her charity work for many organisations, including helping rebuild Women’s and Children’s refuge in the Soloman Islands, and her ambassador roles for National Adoption Awareness, Foster Care Australia, the Pjama Foundation and Brookfarm, were recently recognised by the ABC’s Australian Story, who featured an in- depth story on Jules’ dedication, commitment and contribution to many deserving charities.

She has just launched her Waccii Nurturing Tea company, with all profits supporting Waccii (Women’s and Children’s Care Initiative Incorporated).

Jules Allen is a contributing Parent expert for The Carousel.

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