LETHBRIDGE – A pediatrician from the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary took the stand Friday afternoon in the trial of David and Collet Stephan, charged with failing to provide the necessities of life to their 18-month-old son Ezekiel who died from meningitis.
Dr. Jennifer D’Mello, who works with child abuse cases in the Calgary region, said she knew when she saw the child that he was brain dead after examining him. D’Mello said he was comatose, but his body was being kept alive by life support.
D’Mello interviewed the parents about the child’s medical history and was told Ezekiel didn’t have any significant illnesses prior to getting severely ill in March, 2012.
In the report from D’Mello’s consult with Collet Stephan, Ezekiel’s mother told the doctor that when Ezekiel started to become ill he was lethargic and couldn’t feed or drink on his own so she used an eye dropper to give him fluids and feed him a smoothie.
According the report, Collet told the doctor that on March 5, 2012 the toddler seemed to improve. He was playful and ate a small amount of food after not having eaten in weeks.
Collet told D’Mello she then went online to WebMD, checked symptoms for herself, and admitted it did appear Ezekiel did have meningitis, though she thought the illness was viral as opposed to bacterial. Collet continued to give him fluids with an eye dropper to get his electrolytes up.
Dr. D’Mello told the court that Collet was cooperative during the entire consult.