Mom Sentenced to 3 Years After Son, 7, Dies From Strep Throat Because She Didn't Take Him to Doctor

Tamara Lovett and her son, Ryan
Tamara Lovett and her son, Ryan

She said she thought he had a flu or a cold.

A Canadian mother was sentenced to three years in prison Saturday after her 7-year-old, who was suffering from a severe case of strep throat, died because she did not take him to the doctor.

Tamara Lovett, 48, of Calgary, was convicted in January of criminal negligence causing death of her son Ryan Lovett, according to reports. 

“Ryan suffered terribly from this inaction,” Justice Kristine Eidsvik said. “He died an excruciating, unnecessary death.”

Ryan was bedridden at home for 10 days in March 2013. During that time, Lovett gave him dandelion tea and oil of oregano to treat his infection. 

Ryan's symptoms included swollen lymph nodes, oozing ears and jaundiced eyes at the time of his death, reports said. 

The infection caused organ failure. Lovett said she thought he had a cold or the flu.

Eidsvik said during the trial that Lovett "gambled away" Ryan's life by treating him herself and not seeking medical help.

Lovett admitted during the proceeding that what she did was wrong, and the court acknowledged her grief and suffering, reports said.  

“Her remorse, I believe, is genuine,' Eidsvik reportedly said during the hearing. 

Defense lawyer Alain Hepner had argued the case should be dismissed because it took too long from the time Lovett was arrested until her conviction in January.

The Supreme Court of Canada set out a 30-month time frame for superior court cases to go to trial in what has become known as the Jordan decision. The high court, however, has allowed some flexibility for cases in which charges were laid before its order in July 2016.

Lovett's case took 38 months to prosecute.

"The parties were clearly operating under the old regime," she said. "In my view, it would not be just to set aside a conviction here and enter a stay."