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After Son Dies Of Strep Throat, Mom Is Sentenced To Prison

A Canadian mother who recently lost her 7-year-old son will have a long time to process her grief. She’ll be spending the next three years behind bars. The woman was found guilty of criminal neglect after she failed to seek medical help for her son's sore throat. The boy's death was deemed unnecessary and the mother was held accountable.

Tamara Lovett, a 48-year-old mom from Calgary, was tried and found guilty of the death of her son, Ryan. According to the judge presiding over the case, the 7-year-old 'died an excruciating, unnecessary death'. The judge then sentenced Lovett to three years in jail.

Lovett's son Ryan came down with the strep infection in 2013. The mother refused to take him to the doctor or hospital for treatment. She thought her son just had a typical cold or flu virus, which have no cure but bed rest, fluids and trying to keep any fever down. The mother attempted to treat Ryan herself using home remedies and gave him concoctions like dandelion tea and oil of oregano for 10 days.

The mother didn't realize her son was suffering from strep throat, a bacterial infection of group A Streptococcus. Infections can be more serious than the common cold virus. According to the Mayo Clinic, strep throat can cause serious complications if it goes untreated, such as kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever. Strep is a common childhood illness, and is usually treated successfully with antibiotics.

After the infection progressed and Ryan didn’t seem to be getting any better, Lovett finally relented and called 911. It was already too late, and Ryan was dead before the ambulance arrived.

A doctor who testified at the trial said that if Ryan had been brought to a doctor, his death could have been preventable. If he had been tested for strep throat and given a course of antibiotics, the disease would probably not have progressed to the point of no return.

Lovett was reportedly devastated by her son's death, and her defense team argued that the mistake leading to loss of her son was punishment enough. They asked the court for just a year's jail time.

“[I] can’t begin to forgive myself,” Lovett said. “I hope others learn from my ignorance.”

After the judge handed Lovett a three-year sentence, her lawyer said in a statement, "This sentence of three years really pales in comparison to the life sentence she’s received already for being responsible for the death of her child."

The prosecuting attorney was pleased with the longer sentence, hoping that it would discourage parents from making the same mistake in the future. “If your child is not getting better, you are legally and morally bound to take your child to an actual doctor for actual medical care.”

Lovett's attorney had also argued that the mother's case took too long to make it through the court system, and claimed her rights were violated. The judge denied that application. Agreeing that the delay was 'staggering', the judge felt it would be unjust to set aside a conviction because of it.

Source: New York Post
Photo: YouTube

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