Source: Prayers for Ezekiel Facebook page.
By Terri LaPoint
Health Impact News
Canadian parents David and Collet Stephan were found guilty this week of “failing to provide the necessaries of life” for their 18 month old unvaccinated son. The verdict stunned the couple and supporters alike, especially after there was expert testimony and evidence presented during the trial that showed that the child would most likely be alive today were it not for serious failures on the part of the medical system. Sentencing will be on June 13. The Stephans face up to 5 years in prison.
Interestingly, some local radio stations announced the “guilty” verdict 30 minutes before the jury read the verdict in the courtroom, adding more questions to already numerous concerns about corruption in the process.
The family believes that they have been basically set up as the sacrificial lamb in order to mandate vaccines in a country that cannot do so through legislation, and is instead using their case as judicial precedent to compel parents to vaccinate.
Theirs is a precedent-setting case that could have a devastating effect on parental rights throughout the nation of Canada.
While the media has published many stories with outlandish claims and misinformation about the illness and death of Ezekiel Stephan, Health Impact News was one of the only outlets to publish the family’s side of the story. There was much testimony given in court that supports the family’s version of events, but it appears that the judicial system was eager to ignore evidence and spin things in order to further their apparent agenda.
See original story:
Was Ezekiel “Too Stiff to Go into His Car Seat”?
One particularly concerning statement put out by the media was that Ezekiel was “too stiff” to be buckled into his car seat, and that single factor should have alerted the parents of the possibility of meningitis. Health Impact News asked the Stephans about that statement. According to the parents, that is not at all what happened, and the media and prosecution have twisted what really happened.
On the day in question, the Stephans buckled him into his car seat, but he appeared uncomfortable. Since they were going to be driving an hour away to get an immune-building product from their Naturopathic doctor’s office, they made the decision to take him out of the car seat and lay him on his crib memory foam on the back seat, to help him be more comfortable. Ezekiel was never “stiff as a board” or “too stiff to go in his car seat.” This looked to them like the normal achiness and “tension” of a flu. David reports that, by the time they were ready to come back home, Ezekiel was feeling much better. He was “entirely mobile” and wiggling around and playing like normal, with no sign of any more tension, achiness, or discomfort. By the time they got home, he was ready for a nap, but he acted like he was much better.
The foundation of the prosecution’s case against David and Collet Stephen centered on testimony by the Assistant Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Adeagbo, who performed the forensic autopsy on Ezekiel. The defense was only permitted a very short time to cross-examine the doctor, who was made available by the Crown for only 1 day of testimony. Parts of his testimony during the trial contradicted previous testimony that he gave during the preliminary hearing.
Former Chief Medical Examiner Refused to Sell Her Soul
Dr. Anny Sauvageau testified for the defense on April 19. Dr. Sauvageau is the former Chief Medical Examiner of Alberta and was in that role at the time of Ezekiel’s death in March 2012. Her commitment to the truth and “refusal to be influenced by unethical and perhaps illegal influences” eventually cost the doctor her position as Chief Medical Examiner. Stand 4 Truth reports that she tearfully told the court that she could not keep the secrets any longer and was choosing to expose the truth:
My soul is not for sale.
It became apparent during the trial that she had been ordered not to speak about certain things. According to Stand 4 Truth:
Twice during questioning she cited that she could not speak to certain topics at all unless she could tell the whole truth.
Dr. Anny Sauvageau. Photo source.
Child Likely Would Have Survived if Ambulance Had Proper Equipment
Her version of the events leading up to Ezekiel’s death paints a very different picture than that painted by the government Dr. Adeagbo, but court watchers report that the prosecution for the Crown did everything they could to limit the extent of her testimony. Despite evidence presented that should have exonerated the parents, the prosecution’s admonition to the jury changed the focus on how the charges were to be considered, and the jury reached a verdict that convicted the Stephans of failure to provide the necessaries of life, holding parents to an arbitrary standard of care.
See Dr. Sauvageau’s full report of her expert opinion: 15.4 Report April 16. The version of the report that the court allowed into evidence was largely redacted, even more so than the redacted version here: 15.5 Blacked out report, but we have the full report available for our readers.
Dr. Sauvageau did not go into the trial with any knowledge of the parents’ version of events, but based her testimony on empirical medical and forensic evidence. Nonetheless, her findings corroborated the Stephans’ account of what happened, and filled in gaps of information that Ezekiel’s family did not yet know. She concluded that Ezekiel would most likely have survived were it not for “medical misadventure” when the paramedics transported the child and he was without oxygen for 8 1/2 minutes.
Lungs Clear Upon Arrival at Hospital
During the trial “an undisclosed x-ray surfaced” which showed that Ezekiel’s lungs were actually healthy when he first arrived at the Cardston hospital. This evidence refutes the prosecution’s assertion that he already had a pre-existing lung infection when he arrived. The infection was reportedly likely caused when he was intubated at the hospital.
Medical Expert Testimony not Reported by Mainstream Media
Her testimony contains much that clarifies what actually happened to Ezekiel, including many important elements overlooked or ignored by the media. For that reason, the entire summary of her testimony from Stand 4 Truth is included here:
Dr. Sauvageau reviewed the history of how Ezekiel had been in and out of a suspected case of croup or respiratory infection, as well, a mild flu over a two-week period leading up to his parents, David and Collet, calling 911 when Ezekiel stopped breathing. He started breathing again, after coughing up some mucus, shortly after the first emergency call. His parents can be heard deciding to rush him to the hospital instead of waiting for an ambulance. The call also records the sound of Ezekiel’s breathing as dad put the phone near his son’s mouth to convince the operator that he was in fact breathing. Dr. Sauvageau, a leading forensic pathologist and expert in the areas of asphyxia and hypoxic and anoxic injury, listened to the breathing sounds on the recording to help her piece together the likely cause of Ezekiel’s breathing constriction.
En route to the hospital, Ezekiel stopped breathing again, and 911 was called a second time. The family met the ambulance on the highway approximately 10 minutes from the Cardston Hospital. Mom performed CPR up to the time the paramedics took over. The ambulance was not equipped to establish an airway in a child Ezekiel’s age, because the Alberta Government had recently taken over the ambulance service across the province. This equipment had been destocked against the will of the paramedics, and as a result, the child was without air for over eight minutes. This failed paramedic intervention is characterized by Dr. Sauvageau as a ‘medical misadventure.’ It is, in her expert opinion, the cause of Ezekiel’s brain death.
No Evidence of Bacterial Meningitis or Proof of Hib
The most likely infectious agent in her examination of the entire medical examiner’s file is enterovirus. This virus was found in a swab and wash of the nose, throat and bronchial, along with rhinovirus. These are the likely cause of the respiratory infection that caused Ezekiel to suddenly stop breathing. Enterovirus is also capable of an aggressive spread to the brain, and is almost always the cause of viral meningitis.
Dr. Sauvageau concludes the meningitis found at autopsy is likely viral meningitis, and supported her assertion with science. The samples taken of the infected meninges of the brain (pus) revealed an abundance of lymphocytes and other white blood cells associated with viral infections. The usual white blood cell associated with bacterial infections is neutrophils. There wasn’t an abundance of neutrophils as Dr. Adeagbo had reported. There were no bacteria identified to conclude Bacterial Meningitis.
Also, when Ezekiel was first admitted to the hospital, his condition prevented a lumbar puncture to sample the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF); this is the only way to diagnose for bacterial meningitis. Because this test wasn’t done, and because high doses of antibiotics were administered, Dr. Adeagbo employed a test reserved only for researchers to search for bacteria in the CSF. The research microbiologist cautioned Dr. Adeagbo not to rely on any findings from this test in his report, which he did. Dr. Sauvageau explained the limitations of using the microbiologist’s testing tool for 16SrRNA as too sensitive, and could amplify even one bacteria cell as a positive finding. Additionally, the test cannot identify viruses. Therefore, no scientific evidence has supported a finding of Haemophilus influenzae.
Ezekiel playing in the sink. Source: Stephan family.
Dr. Adeagbo overlooked the failed ambulance intervention as a possible cause of brain death because of something called: Eosinophilic Neurons. When neurons are sampled and dyed with a blue or red stain, they will react according to their condition. When a neuron is starved of oxygen they will stain pink. Dr. Adeagbo reported no such pink findings. However, the asphyxia of the brain cells respond to the dye for only 6 – 24 hours after the injury. Because Ezekiel was on life support for five days after the hypoxic anoxic injury, his white blood cells would have cleaned up the damaged cells and left ghost cells in their place. The pink color would not be expected so long after injury, and hypoxic and anoxic injury could not be ruled out.
Deprivation of Oxygen Cause of Brain Death
Dr. Sauvageau examined the samples of the brain and found overwhelming evidence of brain cell loss and the presence of ghost cells. As an asphyxia expert, she identified the clear evidence of hypoxic and anoxic injury in the brain. Again, the medical misadventure of over eight minutes of oxygen starvation to the brain is, in her expert opinion, the cause of the brain death.
Another posit of Dr. Adeagbo is that the brain swelling from bacterial meningitis was sufficient to cause the brain stem to be compressed, stopping Ezekiel’s heart and breathing. ‘Wrong,’ said Dr. Sauvageau. Adeagbo’s own autopsy report shows no brain herniation. The CT Scan and its report show no tonsillar herniation compressing the brain stem. Also, Ezekiel’s anterior fontanelle is still open and any brain swelling would have created a bulging fontanelle. This was not noted in any of the medical reports before and after the autopsy. Dr. Sauvageau examined the autopsy pictures and saw no herniation.
The pleural empyema described by Dr. Adeagbo ‘is not,’ Dr. Sauvageau says, ‘a cause of death.’ Adeagbo’s report stated that the empyema was preventing Ezekiel from breathing sufficiently, thus contributing as a cause of death. Dr. Sauvageau explained in great detail the biology, anatomy and function of the lungs. When she reviewed the medical examiner’s tissue slides in the Calgary office, she found an x-ray that had not been disclosed to the Defense counsel. It was taken of Ezekiel’s lungs on March 13, 2012, the night he was brought by ambulance into the Cardston Hospital. It shows no pneumonia or pleural empyema.
X-Ray Evidence Suppressed by Adeagbo
Dr. Sauvageau questioned why it had not been disclosed or mentioned in Adeagbo’s report. Another x-ray was taken over two hours after the first, after he had been intubated. It shows early clouding of portions of his lungs consistent with aspiration pneumonia. Another x-ray was taken some time after this that revealed an even greater sign of a developing lung infection (pneumonia and empyema).
Dr. Sauvageau explained that it is quite common when emergency intubation occurs, stomach contents aspirate into the lungs, causing infection. This infection is what caused the empyema on the outside of the right lower lobe. She also viewed the slides of the tissue samples of the lungs and found giant white blood cells which had been consuming the food contents of the lungs. While the empyema did exist, it did not develop until after Ezekiel was intubated in the care of the physicians. He did not stop breathing because of empyema, as Adeagbo reported, because he had no empyema before intubation. Dr. Sauvageau testified that empyema is rarely fatal, and only after months and years of encrusted buildup.
Ezekiel Would Have Survived
Ezekiel’s expected outcome on the balance of probability of the respiratory infection and viral meningitis according to Dr. Sauvageau is 100%. ‘In the absence of the medical misadventure during the paramedic intervention, it is most likely that the child would have survived.’
David Stephan – “Dangerous Precedent”
Because of the guilty verdict, David Stephan warns that a “dangerous precedent” has now been set for all Canadian parents. He wrote on his Facebook page:
The floodgates have now been opened and if we do not fall in line with parenting as seen fit by the government, we all stand in risk of criminal prosecution.
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