Mum's heartbreak after three-year-old son dies following routine dental procedure

Picture: Facebook
Picture: Facebook 

A family in the US are living their worst nightmare after losing their young son during a routine dental procedure.

Three-year-old Abiel Valenzuela Zapata died last week when he went into cardiac arrest after being sedated to have teeth removed following a gum infection.

What should have been a simple procedure quickly turned to tragedy, after the little boy needed CPR, before being rushed to hospital where he later died. 

His mum, Nancy Valenzuela, said she is struggling to comprehend what went to wrong, telling local news network KSN the family were still in shock.

"We didn't expect to come out of there without a child," she told KSN.  

​"I told him, 'Papi, everything's going to be okay. You know you're fine'."  

According to KSN, the little boy, who should have turned four next month, only began to show signs of distress 30 minutes into the procedure. Quoting a local police report on the incident, Abiel's heart rate began to slow and CPR was performed when no pulse could be found. 

He was rushed to hospital, where tragically he later died. It's understood Abiel had no known allergies. 

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Valenzuela told news station KWCH that is was difficult to accept her fun-loving son had gone without knowing what had gone wrong. 

"He'd always love to be jumping and running around," she told KWCH. He was a trouble maker. My house doesn't feel the same without him."

His siblings, especially his brother, were also finding it hard to understand.

"He (his brother) pointed up and said he was with God, so it brings a kind of comfort to me, but it just hurts me that he knows."

An attorney representing the dental practice, Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry in Wichita, Kansas, said they were looking into the incident. 

"Like Abiel's family, we, too, want to understand how this tragic event may have occurred. Our practice has never experienced an incident like this, and we had no reason to expect this procedure would be anything other than routine," KSN quoted a statement saying.

"We would like to thank the EMS first responders who arrived only a few minutes after we called 911. They continued the CPR efforts we had begun and worked feverishly to save Abiel."

Valenzuela shared on Facebook that she was struggling to stay strong for her other kids, and although she knows nothing will bring him back, she was finding it hard to accept she'd never be able to hold him again.

"My boy didn't deserve to die no matter how many ppl say it was probably an allergic reaction," she wrote. "I watched doctors and nurses give CPR forever and my boy didn't return to me."

A fundraising page for Valenzuela and husband Angel set up by a friend has so far raised more than $23,700 to help the family with funeral and other expenses.