Starving Vegan baby was ‘off the grid’
THE LITTLE girl fed an extreme diet by her vegan parents had an off-the-grid existence with no medical records following her birth at a Sydney hospital.
Court documents reveal the hospital discharged the mother from its care when she ignored follow-up calls to check on the newborn.
Neighbours also told police they only ever saw the girl's two older brothers playing in the rear yard and weren't aware there was a third child.
The girl's horrifying malnutrition and "severe growth failure" finally came to the attention of authorities when the mother called triple-0 earlier this year after her then 19-month-old suffered a seizure in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
The mother and father have pleaded guilty to failing to provide for a child causing danger of serious injury and will be sentenced at Downing Centre District Court in January. Court documents have revealed the girl's strict diet consisted of oats, rice milk and half a banana for breakfast, a piece of bread with peanut butter or jam for lunch and being offered potatoes, tofu and rice for dinner.
Documents state the mother stayed by her daughter's bedside throughout her subsequent one-month hospital stay, but while her behaviour was "generally normal" she would at times "not engage" with her daughter and would only feed, change and comfort her when asked by hospital staff, agreed facts tendered to court state.
In 2016, the girl was born in "good condition" via a water birth and she and her mum were discharged after 3½ hours. The mother returned with her daughter a couple of days later for a post-natal check but she declined a newborn screening test or a hearing check saying she preferred to do it with her GP.
This never happened and the mum did not go to a scheduled follow-up appointment with the hospital.
For about two weeks she ignored "multiple phone calls, voicemails, text messages and a letter".
"The hospital discharged (the mother) from their care after no response was received," agreed facts state.
The father, who had been in an "on and off" relationship with the mother for 10 years, told Family and Community Services they "did not want to put her through immunisations as (it was) hard on baby".