Stephan family
The Stephan family with baby Ezekiel (right), who died from meningitis in March 2012. Facebook/Prayers for Ezekiel

Amid the ongoing legal battle they are facing for the death of their 19-month-old son, a Canadian couple took to Facebook to clarify the issue from their end.

David Stephan, 32, and his wife Collet Stephan, 35, have been charged for failing to provide the necessaries of life of Ezekiel, who died from meningitis four years ago. On Mar. 7, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told a Lethbridge jury that the two tried home remedies such as water with maple syrup, olive leaf extract and whey protein instead of bringing the toddler to the doctor, according to a report by CBC News.

The authorities also alleged that Ezekiel had been sick for more than a week, but his parents only resorted to medical help until he stopped breathing. The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On a Facebook page that they created, the Stephans claimed that they are being attacked with anger and hatred as a result of the incident. In a latest post, Ezekiel’s father said that media reports about the case contain misrepresentation of facts. He specifically cited CBC News’ article, which has “created a hostile environment” for him and his wife. While Stephan claimed that the majority of the article is true, it was “conveyed in such a way to create a distorted picture.” Other points, he said, are complete mistruths.

Among the major misrepresentations in the media, Stephan said, was the claim that he and his wife gave Ezekiel various home remedies to boost his immune system. “Anyone in the right mind would see how ridiculous this is, and if it wasn’t such a serious matter, it would be laughable. The idea of boosting an immune system with maple syrup, juice and frozen fruit is so illogical that I am left here shaking my head,” he said.

Stephan also denied that they tried treating Ezekiel with EMpowerplus, as CBC News reported based on the court proceedings. “Why would we try to treat Ezekiel for an infectious disease with a multi-vitamin that assists with brain function? This is a multi-vitamin that my wife and I take as well as our children (in smaller doses) on a consistent basis,” he wrote. He added that Ezekiel was taking EMpowerplus prior to contracting meningitis, which makes it impossible to have an effect on his illness.

EMpowerplus is among the products being sold by the Stephans at a nutritional supplements company they own, the Truehope Nutritional Support Inc., according to CBC News. The company claims that the supplement can manage mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder. In 2004, Health Canada embarked on a legal bid to stop the distribution of EMpowerplus, but it was unsuccessful.

“Since this court case has begun, there has been a great deal of opposition and outright malicious attacks from various organisations, some having pharmaceutical interests and others just having a very strong agenda. Out only desire is that the truth comes out,” Stephan shared towards the end of his post. He said that they are considering legal action against CBC News.