Baby girl developed cerebral palsy, had internal bleeding after vegan parents gave her 100% plant-based diet

The condition of the infant was so bad, the doctors compared her health to newborns in places facing famine


                            Baby girl developed cerebral palsy, had internal bleeding after vegan parents gave her 100% plant-based diet
(Getty Images)

A vegan mother and father, who ignored medical advice and provided their one-year-old girl with a strict plant-based diet, resulted in the toddler developing cerebral palsy. Since the diet lacked sufficient nutrients, the infant had to be admitted to the intensive care unit at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital for a month.

The condition of the little girl was so bad, the doctors compared her health to newborns in places facing famine. Her parents, whose names have not been revealed, appeared at Victoria's County Court on Friday, September 11, and have pleaded guilty to negligently causing serious injury to the child, The Daily Mail reported. The report added that due to the vegan diet, the tot also suffered an ample number of bruising, discolored skin, rashes covering her body, and had numerous open wounds. Later examination revealed that the child was bleeding internally, had blood in her stool, was underweight, and needed life-support measures.

The court heard that doctors discovered that the reason behind the infant’s symptoms was because of the child's malnourishment, which was was also responsible for the cerebral palsy. As per the court documents, clinical director of the Royal Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Service, Dr Neil Wimalasundera, examined the baby’s medical reports and saw her as a patient. “[The baby] has cerebral palsy as a result of brain injury secondary to malnutrition,” Wimalasundera wrote in his report as stated by the court documents.

County Court judge Claire Quin was also told how the parents repeatedly ignored medical advice and continued to do what they believe was right. They also subsequently stopped taking medical advice since they thought it “did not understand them.” Not just that, the parents even threatened to file a police report against a nurse, who was concerned about the infant’s health. The couple is no longer together, but they have a second child.

“These parents, they weren’t 19 or 20 years old, they were in their early 30s. They’re told that what they’re contemplating isn’t going to work for their infant, but they continue to do it,” Judge Quin said as reported by The Age. It has been said that the mother is now taking care of the girl, who is three now, and needs a number of allied health professionals for her care. The sentencing of both the parents will be announced later in September.

In another incident, a couple narrowly escaped jail sentence for putting their three-year-old daughter on a strict vegan diet that led her to face developmental problems. Judge Sarah Huggett said that the pair’s negligence put the little girl in considerable danger of injury, "falling short of death". When authorities saw the toddler, she was 20 months old but weighed only 11 pounds. They initially thought that she was just three months old.

As claimed by the mother in the court, the baby girl was given a cup of oats and rice milk and half a banana in the morning, toast with jam or peanut butter for lunch, and tofu, rice or potatoes in the night. The child was found with undetectable levels of vitamin D, lack of calcium, phosphate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, iron, and zinc.

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