An Indiana mother has been jailed after she admitted to injecting her cancer-stricken teenage son’s IV with his own fecal matter.
Tiffany Alberts, 44, of Wolcott, Indiana, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday and will have to serve five years of probation, the Indy Star reported.
Alberts was convicted on six counts of aggravated battery in September, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said, after an investigation revealed she had been injecting her then 15-year-old son’s IV with feces.
Alberts, a former teacher, was also found guilty on one count of neglect of a dependant, the newspaper reported. She was acquitted of an attempted murder charge.
CNN reported that Alberts’ son had been receiving treatment for leukemia at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana, since August 2016.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said Alberts’ son returned to hospital a week after completing his first cancer treatment with multiple bacterial infections.
According to CNN, the boy returned to the hospital in early September 2016 with a fever, vomiting and had diarrhea. Staff at the hospital began investigating in November after finding the boy also had infections that doctors couldn’t find a medical reason to explain.
CNN reported that blood tests showed organisms that are usually found in feces had caused a bacterial infection and sepsis.
According to the prosecutor’s office, once the boy was placed in a room with video surveillance, hospital staff realized Alberts was injecting an unknown substance into the boy’s IV bag.
She initially told investigators that she was injecting water into the IV bag, but later admitted it was fecal matter. CNN reported that she claimed she had been trying to “flush” his system as the medication he had been given “burned.”
Court documents said she later told police she injected her son’s IV with fecal matter several times in a bid to get him moved to a different unit at the hospital where she thought he would receive better medical treatment.
CNN reported that she admitted she was injecting her son with his own fecal matter, which she was keeping in a gift bag in the bathroom sink of his hospital room.
The infections meant doctors had to postpone the boy’s chemotherapy treatment for nearly two months, according to the Indy Star, lowering his chances for survival. WFLI-TV reported in September that the boy’s health has since improved.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and Riley Hospital for Children have been contacted for comment.