A four-year- old girl, Neveah Hall from Houston, has suffered brain damage after visiting her local dentist. Speaking to ABC news, Neveah's mother Courissa Clark, said her, "once perfectly healthy and normal" daughter, "can no longer, talk or walk or really see much."
Neveah experienced multiple seizures during the visit, believed to have been brought on by the use of sedatives and a controversial restraint known as the papoose. A commonly used device, the papoose confines a child's arms and legs, preventing them from interfering with the dental procedure.
Instead of contacting emergency services, Dentist, Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson of Diamond Dentistry, attempted to treat Neveah's seizures by administering oral medication – Halcion. He delayed seeking emergency assistance for several hours, resulting in Neveah sustaining a severe brain injury.
"In essence, what happened is this child was chemically and physically suffocated," Jim Moriarty, the family's attorney, told USA Today. "This child suffered massive brain damage during this time period and that didn't have to happen."
Ms Clark told ABC news that Neveah has been through four different hospitals and is currently an inpatient in a rehabilitation facility, undergoing "multiple hours of occupational, physical and speech therapy."
"Right now, it's a waiting game to see what she can relearn and what she'll be able to do," Clark said. "I am hoping to get my daughter back the way she was...This is our baby, so we just have to accept and live with what we have."
Disciplinary records show that Jefferson has been reprimanded on two previous occasions. His license has now been temporary suspended, pending a hearing scheduled for the end of March.