It’s a parent’s worse nightmare: You drop your child off for a routine dental procedure and they come out brain-damaged. Sadly, that was the reality for mother Courissa Clark.
Last week, Clark’s 4-year-old, Nevaeh Bell, went to Houston’s Diamond Dental for a decay removal and teeth capping that required some sedation. But during the procedure, Bell suffered from numerous seizures and instead of Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson “rais[ing] the alarm, [she decided] to treat [Bell] herself instead of calling 9-1-1,” says The Daily Mail.
Jim Moriarty, the family’s attorney told the press that the toddler was basically “tortured” and her seizures were a direct result from being given 5 different sedatives that knocked her out for seven hours. Unnecessary “for a routine dental procedure that should have been done and over by mid morning,” USA Today noted. Also, her arms and legs were restrained the entire time in a “sometimes controversial” device called a “papoose.”
“In essence what happened is this child was chemically and physically suffocated. This child suffered massive brain damage during that time period and that didn’t have to happen,” he said.
While this was happening, both Bell’s mother and father sat in the waiting room.
This wasn’t the first time Bell has been treated by Jefferson–this was her third visit. The family is currently filing a lawsuit for neglect against Jefferson, who had “been reprimanded and fined by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners at least twice before” this incident, USA Today wrote. Jefferson’s license has now been suspended.
During a press conference with Bell’s family, Craig Jacobs, a local dentist with Children First Dental, warned parents if a dentist want to use the same restraint device on their child, that is a serious red flag. “If parents are being told to authorize or grant permission to papoose their child, they probably ought to run,” he said.
Sending many prayers to Neveah and her family.