A woman charged in the death of her son began researching holistic remedies nearly a month before he eventually died of an overwhelming infection brought on by strep.
Tamara Lovett, 47, is on trial charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life and with criminal negligence causing the death of her son Ryan in 2013.
Court has heard her seven-year-old son was treated with dandelion tea and oil of oregano. He died from massive organ failure as a result of “overwhelming sepsis.”
Calgary police acting Sgt. Gary Novokowsky testified Friday that he was asked to do a forensic investigation of Lovett’s computer and cellphone after Ryan died on March 2, 2013.
“I was asked to search for evidence in relation to a suspicious death of a child,” Novokowsky said.
“I was asked to search for evidence relating to alternative medical treatments or, for lack of a better term, the rejection of traditional medicine.”
In her interview with police, Lovett told the officer her son had had flu symptoms and nosebleeds for a couple of weeks but worsened a couple of days before his death. He was complaining of pain in his legs, his skin became jaundiced, his urine was dark and he was having trouble standing.
She said early on March 2 he complained of stomach pains and she helped him into the bathroom. He collapsed, began to convulse and she dialled 911.
Novokowsky told court there was a search about children’s nosebleeds in January and a link to a newspaper article warning Canadians are “blind to the dangers of prescription drugs.”
He said there were a number of searches beginning Feb. 5, 2013, including “children, swollen groin, lymph nodes.” That was followed with searches for “oil of wild oregano testimonials” and information for earaches, ear infections, norovirus and even “radiation sickness.”
The day before Ryan died, Lovett researched jaundice, home remedies, the benefits of dandelion tea and herbs to help the liver.
In her police interview, Lovett said she had taken her son to a holistic clinic on a number of occasions.
“Yeah, I took him there just for checkups and making sure he had all 10 fingers and all 10 toes.”
Lovett said she realized the day before Ryan died that she might have to take him to hospital.
“When he presented with the jaundiced eyes, that was like, if this starts to escalate then, yeah, we gotta think about getting him to the hospital,” she said.
“That was the first time when it entered into my mind … You may just have to take him to the hospital and deal with this.”
Lovett broke down a number of times during the interview.
“My baby. Mummy couldn’t save you,” she sobbed. “You lose your whole family in an instant.”
The Crown has wrapped up its case. Lovett’s lawyer is to begin her defence Monday.