Elizabeth Struhs: Girl, 8, dies as cult parents stop her diabetes medicines and pray instead
An 8-year-old girl died after her parents stopped giving her essential medicines. Elizabeth Struhs, 8, was allegedly killed because of the actions of her parents who were from a religious cult. They stopped giving her the vital medicine that she took for her Type 1 diabetes. Instead, the girl's mother Kerrie, 46 and father Jason, 50, prayed over the child at their home-based church. The girl, one of the familty's eight children, was later found dead at her home in Queensland, Australia.
The oldest sibling of the family, Jay, has issued a heartbreaking plea for help after taking over the care of her younger siblings. "The news has left us completely shattered and heartbroken," Jay revealed. "No other family should have to hear or experience what we have had to endure." Elizabeth's parents stopped giving the child medication on January 2 believing they would be able to heal her diabetes by prayer. The child is believed to have died on January 7 but alarm was only raised the following day by a member of their small prayer group. The parents appeared in Toowoomba Magistrates Court looking 'emotionless' via video link from the Toowoomba watch house, where they had been in custody since their arrest.
"We sadly discovered the death of Elizabeth in the cruelest of ways. With so many unanswered questions, we may never know the full extent of what took place," Jay told the media. "The loss of our sister is unbearable. Her brave spirit in the face of medical adversity was inspiring. She was a bright light on all that met her."
Elizabeth's parents did not prefer or want to use conventional medical help. They instead believed in God as the ultimate doctor who according to them, had '100 percent promised healing'. Jason Struhs, the father of the children, is a keen sportsman and worked night shifts at his job to support the family while his wife was the primary caregiver at home. The couple had a small prayer group with who they called over and held a bizarre prayer ritual instead of calling paramedics after they discovered that Elizabeth had died. The group was allegedly playing music and chanting prayers out loud and indulging in other weird activities that they thought would bring the girl back to life.
Two of Elizabeth's siblings are adults, one of them being Jay. The rest five are between 3 to 16 years old. Jay has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money using which she wants to use to bring up her young siblings once guardianship is handed over to her. "They have had their entire worlds turned upside down," Jay said. "As a family united in grief, we have vowed to put their needs ahead of everything else as we help rebuild the lives they have always deserved," she added. The page has already raised $4157 of its $71,833 goal.