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Parents of girl who suffered brain damage at dentist speak

The family of a Houston, TX toddler is devastated after their four-year-old daughter Nevaeh Hall was left with severe brain damage following a trip to the dentist.

The Hall family is preparing a lawsuit against Diamond Dental and Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson for the incident that took place early January, KHOU reports. Mother Courissa Clark brought Nevaeh to the dental office to get her teeth capped or removed due to dental decay.

Nevaeh was given five sedatives and placed in a controversial restraint device called a papoose. The child was sedated for seven hours and suffered several seizures during the procedure. Paramedics weren’t called until four hours after the seizures began. Clark says after her daughter was taken to the hospital, she was told Nevaeh suffered brain damage and was diagnosed with involuntary muscle contractions, leaving her unable to walk or talk. She is currently still in the hospital.

An independent dentist reviewed Nevaeh’s case and said the child was given three times the amount of sedatives required for her size and weight. The procedure should also have been “done and over by mid-morning.”


“And I can tell you that this chart shows you that this child was essentially tortured,” said Jim Moriarty the attorney for the family of 4-year-old Nevaeh Hall.
“ We’ve got to get the American public to understand you cannot allow your child to be held in a restraint device without you personally being present.”

The independent dentist added, “her body tried to compensate for her inability to breathe by increasing her heart rate to as high as 195 beats per minute. That her blood pressure rose to “a dangerous 168/77.” And that her oxygen saturation dropped as low as 49 percent. “Severe hypoxia is often classified as any saturation lower than 86 percent. And is known to cause brain damage.” 

Jefferson’s license was ultimately suspended by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. Because she was reprimanded in the past two times before, she is facing a revocation of her license.

The family also believes the use of the papoose restricted Nevaeh from warning Jefferson what was going on. The device is normally used to keep children still during procedures.

Clark mourned Nevaeh’s former life as a vibrant and mobile toddler, telling reporters, “At this point there’s nothing else that can be done to get that same four-year-old back. It hurts to see her like that.” 

The family plans to sue for gross negligence. Until then, they are currently accepting GoFundMe donations to help pay for Nevaeh’s hospital stay.



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