Brandi & Russel Bellew Lose Custody of 6 Children after Teen Son Austin Sprout Dies Due to ‘Faith Healing’
An Oregon couple has been stripped of custody of their six children after their teenage son died because they eschewed medical treatment and turned to “faith healing”–cure by prayer– to heal his undisclosed treatable ailment.
The Register-Guard reports that six siblings from Creswell have become wards of the state while their parents, Brandi and Russel Bellew, await trial for the death of their 16-year-old son Austin Sprout. The teen died last December, allegedly because his parents opted for prayer instead of medical treatment for his health problem.
Brandi, age 36, and Russel, 39, face second-degree manslaughter charges.
The couple can still see their children under a “in-home safety plan,” under which a state “safety provider” will supervise all visits.
The family attends the General Assembly and the Church of the First Born in Pleasant Hill, which advocates faith healing in place of conventional medicine.
Incredibly, Austin wasn’t the first member of the family to die due to “faith healing.” Brandi’s first husband, Brian Sprout, died of sepsis in 2007 after he refused to seek medical treatment for a leg injury.
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