By Alex Consiglio and Jennifer Pagliaro
The Toronto Star
Samantha LeBlanc says she woke one morning this March to find her 2-year-old son on the couch “absolutely lethargic.” He wouldn’t get up.
LeBlanc and her friend Christine Allen – who LeBlanc was helping by letting her stay at her Kitchener, Ont. home – tended to little Decklyn. Allen, 32, checked his pulse and suggested she drive them to the hospital, LeBlanc said.
Decklyn went back to the hospital twice more. The second time he stayed a week as doctors treated the unknown ailment.
On Monday, after what police called a “lengthy” investigation, Allen – a mother of three and a former unlicensed daycare operator – was charged with two counts each of aggravated assault and administering a noxious substance.
Police say two different children – one who the Star has identified as LeBlanc’s – ingested an over-the-counter eye-care product that can cause abnormal drowsiness, low blood pressure and decreased heart rates.
“In my mind she was playing the hero, ” said LeBlanc, as she recalled how Allen tended to her son and drove them to the hospital. She said she’s known Allen for five years after the two met at a parenting group.
“It’s very shocking … I put a lot of trust in her.”
Bloomy and Jovito Favila will never help build the massive Lego Star Wars Falcon ship they bought their son for Christmas. Nor will they fulfil their son’s dream of visiting Disneyland.
Friends and family were in the Favilas’ kitchen in Ajax Wednesday, the adults eating from a buffet, the children running through the kitchen and down some stairs, yelling.
All seemed normal, but upstairs, Bloomy and Jovito were grieving the tragic death of their 7-year-old son Jacoub, killed in a hit-and-run on New Year’s Day.
In the hallway downstairs, a child ran by the Favila Christmas tree, screaming: “Are we going to see Jacoub? Are we going to see Jacoub?” A woman caught up, hugged him, and asked him to eat.
“I don’t want to eat. I want Jacoub, ” the child said, bringing tears to the woman’s eyes as Bloomy and her husband Jovito joined them downstairs. The couple carried a picture of Jacoub, who had requested the Lego Star Wars ship for Christmas and should have been building it with his relatives this week.
Instead, his distraught parents wept in their hallway as they pleaded for justice.