Prayer vs Pancreatitis.

Seth Johnson. Credit: youcaring.

Seth Johnson. Credit: youcaring.

Guess which one won? Yeah. I’ve had acute pancreatitis. To say it is excruciating is very close to an understatement. I made it a day and a half before gratefully surrendering to the hospital, and the most blessed relief of morphine, which is about all that can bring relief from pain that makes death look pretty damn good. The long trip to the hospital, I had a bowl, and was vomiting the whole way, faced washed with tears that wouldn’t stop leaking, bent double, unable to straighten up, couldn’t walk. My chest felt like it was going to explode, and I could barely breathe. It’s beyond unconscionable that adults allowed a child to endure this until death.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A mother and a father in the west metro are facing child neglect charges following the March death of their 7-year-old son, whom officials say died of pancreatitis without medical attention because his parents had “issues going to doctors.”

Timothy and Sarah Johnson, of Plymouth, were charged by summons last week with one count of child neglect resulting in substantial bodily harm, a gross misdemeanor, in the death of their adopted son, Seth.

According to criminal complaints, the boy died on March 30, covered in bruises, after being found unresponsive on a vomit-covered mattress. An autopsy showed the child’s cause of death was acute pancreatitis and possible sepsis.


In the days before Seth’s death, his parents were out of town for a wedding, leaving their son in the care of an older sibling. The night they returned, the Johnsons found their son hardly moving and said he didn’t react when they “prayed for his health.”

The parents said the boy was barely able to eat two small bites of pizza. They decided to consider in the morning whether or not their son needed to see a doctor.

When the parents woke up, they found Seth unresponsive and called 911. The boy was pronounced dead a short time later.

I certainly hope Seth’s siblings have been removed, and neglect is not a serious enough charge for these disgusting assholes. Full story here.


  1. says

    A murder done by religious fanatics, that is what it is, and as such it should be prosecuted.

    One of the worst things fundamental religion teaches people is to not teach them how much they do not know. It gives them the illusion that they have the answers and solutions to all worlds ills and that they need not learn.

  2. rq says

    This, from people who profess to love and protect children, who wish to shelter children from all the imagined evils of the world. Only to forget that they themselves, along with their so-called loving god, are a far more real evil and danger to them.
    I can’t commit to reading the full article. It is well beyond my comprehension how people can be this antagonistic towards their own children. At some point, they were so drowned in their religion that they lost the desperation that should have consumed them the instant they saw something wrong with their child -- the kind of desperation that makes you try anything. They stopped at prayer and went no further. Neglect and dereliction of duty cannot even begin to describe at how badly they have failed their (presumably) voluntarily undertaken responsibilities towards the children in their care.
    How loving, how protectful. I hope their other children will be loved and protected elsewhere.

  3. says

    So the kid had been sick for weeks, but the parents decided to have some fun, go to a wedding and leave an older sibling to care for him (dog knows how old that sibling was). I’m not one to preach parental martyrdom, but how little can you care?

  4. says

    The adults (I won’t call them parents), decided to self diagnose:

    Seth’s shift in behavior began with trouble sleeping, eating — “meals would take a couple of hours” – and he was throwing himself down the stairs. The boy’s parents told authorities that they didn’t take Seth to the hospital because they were concerned doctors would put their child on medications.

    Instead, the parents opted to do their own research and treat the child themselves. They believed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, a brain injury and fetal alcohol syndrome, although the clinic they referred authorities to had no record of this, the criminal complaint states.

    I guess the treatment consisted of ignoring him and prayer.

  5. says

    Deny food and a child starves to death, it’s abuse.

    Deny medical care and a child dies from a preventable condition, it’s “religous freedumb”.

    Caine (#5) --

    The adults (I won’t call them parents),

    I wouldn’t even call them that given their immature and selfish behaviour. I would call them fornicators, since that’s pretty much all they accomplished, becoming pregnant and giving birth.

  6. says


    I would call them fornicators, since that’s pretty much all they accomplished, becoming pregnant and giving birth.

    No, they didn’t, they adopted.

  7. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    I just..
    One of our little dogs has (managed) pancreatitis.
    We came home one night to an indescribable situation.
    Suffice to say, he spent the night in ICU in an emergency pet hospital.
    This cost a fortune and we now feed him a special diet that also costs a fortune.
    We don’t care — anything for our little dog’s health and happiness.
    This is a dog we are talking about.
    To do this to a child…

  8. rq says

    post-traumatic stress disorder, a brain injury and fetal alcohol syndrome

    Well. Razours and all that.

  9. Czech American says

    @Caine “No, they didn’t, they adopted.”

    This is what pushes my blood from beyond boiling to whatever comes after that. These people didn’t bother to take care of the child, but they sure put a lot of effort into getting an at-risk child into their home.

    Even if they did an independent adoption or went through a skeevy religious agency*, they still had to hire a lawyer and do a home study. They probably did it all for Jesus, but why put any effort in after the child is “saved”.

    In addition to thinking about the poor little boy, I’m also thinking about how there could be one or more birth parents who thought they were doing the right thing and providing their child a safe home.

    *All religious adoption agencies in the US are skeevy. Moderate Christians rarely set up adoption agencies, but fundamentalists love to. Their purpose is not child welfare; it is “saving souls” and preventing abortions.

Leave a Reply