Police arrested a vegan mom from Fayette County, Pennsylvania, after her estranged husband told authorities that she fed their 11-month-old boy only fruit and nuts. According to the man, the woman was “obsessed” with strict diets.
Elizabeth Hawk currently faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Investigators at Child, Youth & School Services said the infant also suffered from starvation since his mom had failed to provide him with enough food for his age.
Mrs. Hawk’s sister-in-law said she had noticed some physical problems with the baby. The boy’s aunt said she observed a “severe rash” and troubles with his motor skills. The problems were so severe that he wasn’t able to use his hands at all.
Yet, the boy’s mother told the aunt that she had nothing to worry about and put the blame on “allergies.”
Nevertheless, Hawk’s sister-in-law and estranged husband weren’t convinced. Reportedly, Mrs. Hawk and Jerry Hawk live separately and the boy is in his mother’s custody.
The man’s sister told press Mrs. Hawk has an extreme view on healthy nutrition. Reportedly, the woman planned to live only “on water and sunlight.” CYS found she gave the infant, who’s in a critical stage of development, just nuts and berries. Plus, she failed to give the baby proper amounts of food, thus, worsening his condition.
When her husband took the baby to CYS, staffers there rushed the baby to a hospital. The man told CYS he had to save his kids. The boy was placed under intensive care at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Doctors there analyzed the baby’s condition and concluded that not treating the rash was an “inhumane” thing to do. They explained that such severe rash can push a child of this age into septic shock, if left untreated.
Doctors also described the child’s condition as below the “thrive” level. They noted starvation could severely delay the boy’s development.
The baby currently lives with his father like the couple’s two other children. His condition is visibly improving, the family said.
“He’s doing great. He’s turned completely around,”
said his aunt.
Mrs. Hawk was released from jail on her own recognizance. She is slated for a preliminary hearing, but the date hasn’t been released to the public.
Extreme Feeding Regime in Italy
In July, an Italian baby landed in a Milan hospital with severe malnourishment issues because his parents had kept him on a vegan diet. Doctors were shocked to learn the 14-month-old weighed slightly over the weight of a 3-month-old.
The toddler’s grandparents were the ones to alert authorities. Investigators found parents imposed a strict vegan diet on their son without adding supplements to his diet. Blood tests revealed the toddler was calcium deficient.
The malnourishment took a heavy toll on the 14-month-old’s heart health as well since he was born with a congenital condition. Italian doctors declined to enter into a discussion over the benefits of a vegan diet for toddlers, but they said the baby should have received calcium and iron supplementation since birth.
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