Archive: Belief and Risk, antivaxxer, homeopathy
A Wyalusing-area toddler died from an infection that was easily treatable if the parents had sought medical intervention, according to the doctor who performed the autopsy.
By Jeff Murray and Anthony Borrelli (Star Gazette, Binghamton)
The March death of a Bradford County toddler resulted from an untreated ear infection and could have easily been avoided, according to her autopsy report.
The parents of 18-month-old Hope Elizabeth Delozier face criminal charges in connection with her death following an investigation by state police at Towanda and Bradford County Coroner Thomas Carmen.
Ebed Delozier, 29, and Christine Delozier, 34, were charged Wednesday with felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children.
On March 23, police said, Ebed Delozier took Hope Elizabeth to Towanda Memorial Hospital for treatment of a medical condition.
“I need some help,” hospital workers recalled Delozier saying, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Hope Elizabeth was later pronounced dead by an emergency room physician.
Carmen’s office contacted state police about the child’s death, which was ruled a homicide after an investigation.
Dr. James A. Terzian performed an autopsy at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, and determined that the child died of streptococcus pneumonia meningitis, which caused a cerebral abscess and terminal cerebral edema.
“The meningitis originated in a left ear infection, which was reportedly left untreated by conventional antibiotic therapy,” Terzian wrote in his report.
A simple antibiotic to treat the ear infection would have saved the victim’s life, Terzian added.
The child’s mother, Christine Delozier, told investigators that she didn’t believe in vaccinations or other aspects of modern medicine, not because of any religious beliefs, but from her own upbringing and her own research.
The mother told hospital staff she treated Hope Elizabeth with homeopathic remedies and herbal therapy, according to the affidavit.
Both parents indicated another reason they didn’t seek medical treatment sooner was financial concerns.
Ebed and Christine Delozier were arraigned on the charges Wednesday evening in District Court.
Ebed was sent to the Bradford County Correctional Facility on an active bench warrant for an unrelated case, and Christine was released on non-monetary bail.
The Deloziers have been living in a camper on Hiduk Road in Herrick Township, according to court documents.