BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — An herbalist is on trial after a diabetic boy died in California.
A Brevard County man said his wife turned to the man for an alternative cancer treatment.
"I was kind of left in the dark," he said. "I'm just hoping that by this interview, somebody is helped."
California prosecutors said the herbalist, Tim Morrow, who does not have a medical license, is to blame for the 13-year-old boy's death.
A Brevard County widower said he understands why someone would trust the herbalist over a traditional doctor.
Prosecutors said he essentially brainwashed the boy's mother by claiming he cured his own cancer.
The husband said he believes that the man's claim that he did it without traditional medicine convinced his wife to do the same.
Don Waisanen said he is certain that if his late wife, Carol Ann Waisanen had known about the boy's death in California, she would still be here.
"I'll never be the same, nor will anybody else that ever knew her," Waisanen said. "She touched the lives of so many people."
At his Cocoa home, pictures of Carol Ann Waisanen tell an almost 40-year love story.
"She was the most selfless person that I ever met," he said.
Years earlier, before the couple moved from California, Carol Ann Waisanen, certified in health and nutrition, became friends with Morrow.
Waisanen said his wife so respected Morrow's ways of alternative medicine that when she developed uterine cancer, she kept it from her family and followed Morrow's advice to turn to herbs instead of conventional medical treatment, even as her health plummeted.
By the time Waisanen got his wife to specialists in 2017, it was too late.
Just 67, the vivacious love of his life was gone.
"She may still be with us today if she had had the treatment early," he said.
Waisanen said he chose to speak publicly about his wife's death after learning of Edgar Lopez's death in California.
Morrow, 84, was charged with child abuse likely to cause death and practicing medicine without a license in connection with Lopez's death.
In court, prosecutors said Morrow had "practically brainwashed" Edgar's mother to stop giving him insulin, even after he wasted away to 68 pounds.
Waisanen said his hope is that Edgar and his wife's tragedies will spare another family.
"I just don't want to see anybody else go through this," he said.
Waisanen said his wife was responsible for her choices, but he encourages people to seek second and third opinions.
© 2020 Cox Media Group