An 11-year-old girl suffering from cancer has died of a stroke less than a year after refusing to continue chemotherapy to start using traditional healing methods.
Makayla Sault, from the Ojibwa aborigine tribe in the New Credit First Nation reserve in Ontario, Canada, suffered the stroke on Sunday and died the following day. She stopped her chemotherapy after three months of treatment last year.
The Sault family released a statement saying that they respect her decision to have halted medication and that her condition had improved with alternative therapies – known as Ongwehowe Onohgwatri:yo: – because their daughter suffered “irreversible damage” from the powerful drugs.
Doctors at McMaster Children’s Hospital, in Hamilton, Ontario, claim she would have had a 75 per cent chance of surviving an aggressive form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia if she had continued the treatment.
Her symptoms went into remission during the months of chemotherapy, however her parents claim that she suffered extreme weight loss and permanent damage to her body during the treatment which they believe caused her death. The hospital declined to comment on these claims.
Makayla made a YouTube video in May, during the break from chemotherapy treatment, in which she said the drugs were “killing” her and that she saw a vision of Jesus who had told her that she was already healed.
She says: “I have asked my mom and dad to take me off the treatment because I don’t want to go this way anymore.
“I know that what I have can kill me, but I don’t want to die in a hospital on chemo.”
Parents, Ken and Sonya Sault, told the First Nation newspaper Two Row Times: “Makayla was on her way to wellness, bravely fighting toward holistic well-being after the harsh side effects that 12 weeks of chemotherapy inflicted on her body.
“Chemotherapy did irreversible damage to her heart and major organs. This was the cause of the stroke. We continue to support Makayla’s choice to leave chemotherapy.
“At this time we request privacy from the media while we mourn this tragic loss.”
Her parents, who are pastors, said that the hospital treatment – which she was recommended by doctors to undergo for two years – made Makayla’s heart beat at twice the rate than normal. A coroner is set to investigate the cause of death with a public inquest also being considered, according to Toronto Star.
Peter Fitzgerald, President of McMaster Children’s Hospital, said: “Everyone who knew Makayla was touched by this remarkable girl. Her loss is heart-breaking. Our deepest sympathy is extended to Makayla’s family.”
Makayla, who is to be laid to rest tomorrow, is the first out of two First Nation children who have refused chemotherapy. The second girl, only known as J.J, according to Two Row Times, currently shows no signs of cancer as found in a biopsy carried out at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.Reuse content