STOCKTON (CBS13) — A Stockton toddler dies during a dental procedure, and her emotional mother speaks to CBS13 about the moments she learned her daughter had passed. It happened Monday at the Children’s Dental Surgery in Stockton.
Photos taken by her mother, show three-year-old Daleyza Avila-Hernandez playing in the waiting room with her siblings at the dental center. It was the last time Araceli Avila would ever see her daughter again. Moments later, the little girl went in for a dental procedure but never came out.
Avila says, “When I was in the waiting room, I saw the ambulance. I stood up to see and I thought to myself they are here for a child but never thought it was my child.”
Avila says her daughter was there to get her teeth fixed, but 30 minutes later she was rushed to the hospital, where she later died.
Through her tears, Avila said, “The nurse said my daughter’s heart stopped, but she was stable and not to worry and told me my daughter has heart problems that maybe I didn’t know of, but that’s not true. My daughter was very healthy.”
The dental center specializes in treatments under general anesthesia. Administrators couldn’t confirm if that was part of the little girl’s procedure but did tell CBS13 both a dentist and anesthesiologist- along with a nurse and two assistants- are present in the rooms during a procedure.
David Thompson with the Children’s Dental Surgery Center said, “The risks are different, the process is different, our emergency response is different and we have drills to handle certain types of emergencies.”
Avila- who only speaks Spanish- says she was required to read a long form prior to the procedure and says it was in Spanish. The nurse who helped her also spoke Spanish. As the Stockton Police Department and the California Dental Board now investigate Daleyza’s death, her mother just can’t understand how a trip to a dental center could take her daughter’s life.
“I hope what has happened to me doesn’t happen to another mother.”
The results of an autopsy are expected to be ready in the next few weeks. The little girl will be laid to rest next week. In the meantime, tomorrow her friends and family plan to protest outside of the dental surgery center at 9 a.m., asking for justice.