Anti-Vaxx Parents of Toddler Who Died From Meningitis Start Trial

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A southern Alberta, Canada couple used alternative health methods to treat their toddler rather than go to a Doctor have pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to provide necessaries of life for their child. Ezekiel, the 19-month old toddler, died from Meningitis. David Stephan (32) and his wife Collet Stephan (35) were said to have told a police officer that they opted not to take Ezekiel to the doctor due to previous bad experiences with the medical field. According to, the parents were recorded by the officer.

The Crown alleges the parents fed the boy supplements with an eye dropper, lay down with him and consulted a friend.

However they did not seek medical help until the toddler stopped breathing, the Crown told court.

Ezekiel was airlifted to a hospital in Calgary and, after five days, doctors took him off life support machines.


Doctors told the boy’s parents he died of meningitis.

Crown counsel played an audio tape from a police officer who interviewed the couple after hospital staff called police.

On the tape, Collet Stephan tells the officer a friend, who is a nurse, told the couple the boy likely had meningitis.

In a bid to boost his immune system, the couple gave the boy — who was lethargic and becoming stiff — various home remedies, such as water with maple syrup, juice with frozen berries and finally a mixture of apple cider vinegar, horse radish root, hot peppers, mashed onion, garlic and ginger root as his condition deteriorated.

The couple also runs a nutritional supplement company called  Truehope Nutritional Support Inc. The Canadian government prior attempted to have their business shut down via court cases, but failed. In 2006, the company was found guilty of distributing a supplement called Empowerplus without a drug identification number. The family is claiming that the government is attacking them for their stances and beliefs on alternative health treatments. On a Facebook page titled, Prayers For Ezekiel, even claim there have been attacks on their fundraising accounts.

Moving on to the great opposition that we have been facing in regard to fundraising websites. As many of you know, we have had some attacks on our previous GoFundMe account and then on our YouCaring fundraising account… both of which have led to them being shut down. We were concerned as to who would be attacking my family and why? We had our ideas, however just the other day we had an admission from someone operating under a fake alias that provided us with enough clues that we have a very good understanding of who the group is that is attacking us. They are well aware of my family and have spent a considerable amount of time attacking us and our work for 15+ years, many times under fake alias’. We have found there actual names on Health Canada documents that showed that they were greatly responsible for initiating the seizure of our mental health supplements at the border back in 2003, that ultimately resulted in numerous suicides as over 3000 Canadians were relying on our products in favour of pharmaceutical medications and were now put into a place of hardship. This group is known to put on seminars that are sponsored by various pharmaceutical companies for the purpose of defaming and disparaging any treatments that are outside of allopathic medicine including chiropractic, naturopathic and homeopathic medicine. One of these seminars was solely dedicated to the defaming of my father’s company that is known as Truehope.

Coming to the knowledge of who was behind these attacks is one of the most challenging things that I have come across in a while. I have never had personal dealings with these individuals in the past, however I was well aware of them and despised them for the actions they had taken that resulted in great harm to many people in Canada.

The situation has turned into a tumultuous one. You can read the family’s full Facebook post below.


Will we ever be free?I am not sure that Collet and I have ever looked forward to a weekend as much as we have now….

Posted by Prayers for Ezekiel on Sunday, March 6, 2016

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