For 10 days, 7-year-old Ryan Alexander Lovett laid in bed while his mother fed him dandelion tea and oil of oregano. He died as a result, according to prosecutors. In a trial that began Monday in Calgary, Alberta, prosecutors accuse Tamara Lovett, 47, of failing to provide the "necessaries of life," as well as criminal negligence causing the death of her son, who died of organ failure in 2013, reports Global News. Prosecutors say Ryan first developed a streptococcus infection before coming down with meningitis and pneumonia, yet Lovett never sought medical advice or antibiotics. In fact, Ryan—who had no birth certificate or health card—had never visited a doctor in his life as his mother "did not believe in conventional medicine or doctors," a prosecutor says, per CBC News.
Prosecutors say a friend recommended Lovett take Ryan to the doctor on March 1, but she refused, per the Calgary Sun. A day later, Lovett called 911, telling dispatchers that her son wasn't breathing. Lovett—who has pleaded not guilty—later told police Ryan had been sick for two weeks and collapsed while trying to reach the bathroom. Paramedics who arrived described a "lifeless" boy covered in vomit on the floor of a squalid apartment. "He was cold to touch," a paramedic says, while an officer notes he "appeared emaciated" with "a deformed shoulder and arm" and "some bruising about the ears." After Ryan was pronounced dead, a detective says Lovett told her son, "I'm sorry. I failed you. I didn't do enough." (A Canadian judge delivered an unusual sentence in a similar case.)