A naturopath and a mother have been charged with endangering the life of a baby boy who nearly starved and was days from death after his mother was allegedly put on restrictive raw and liquid-only diets.
Naturopath Marilyn Pauline Bodnar put the breastfeeding mother on a water-only diet when her baby had a fever, telling her “you are not allowed to eat anything if you want to see him get better”, police allege.
Ms Bodnar, 59, allegedly told the woman – who cannot be named – “increased temperature means increased vitality”, News Limited reports.
Between February and April last year, Ms Bodnar allegedly convinced the mother that eating “100 per cent raw” food would cure her son’s eczema.
The mother allegedly told police the naturopath made her “feel guilty for hurting the victim by using steroid creams as it was best to use nothing to allow the skin to breathe”.
According to court documents, the mother asked Ms Bodnar whether she should feed her then six-month-old baby vegetable puree, but she advised her to let him suck raw food through a net and to feed him goat’s milk.
When the mother reported that the boy vomited up the goat’s milk, Ms Bodnar allegedly said vomiting was good because it was “eliminating the toxins that caused the eczema”.
On May 28, after the boy had been vomiting for a week, the mother took the baby to a doctor, who instructed her to take him to a hospital immediately.
Police claim the eight-month-old boy was emaciated and days from death when he was finally taken to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, suffering from a severe fever, eczema and a staph infection.