A child, whose parents fed him a diet of just fruit and vegetables, has died from malnutrition.
An eighteen-month-old infant died after a week of not being fed, as his mother, Sheila O’Leary, 35, thought he was teething.
At the time of his death, the boy weighed a mere 17 pounds as he was only breastfed in the previous week, while the average weight for an 18-month-old is 24lbs 1oz.
Police say that the parents, Ryan and Sheila, only fed the boy a diet of fruit and vegetables before his death.
The parents have been charged with negligent manslaughter and child neglect.
The mother reported shallow breathing during an early morning breastfeed, which had concerned her.
According to The Mirror:
She was worried because it was the first time it had happened, but said she didn’t call for help because she fell asleep.
He was pronounced dead at the family home in Cape Coral, Florida, after his mum woke up and noticed he wasn’t breathing and was cold.
She dialled 911 as her 30-year-old husband tried to resuscitate the boy, police wrote in an affidavit obtained by the Fort Myers News-Press.
The final cause of death was a combination of malnutrition, dehydration, liver problems, and a reported swelling of the lower limbs which had impeded the boy from walking properly in the weeks leading up to his death.
Police said that the parents had three other children in the van–all of whom appeared to be underweight and malnourished.
One of the children had a severely decayed tooth which required dental surgery.