A report shows the family of a then 4-year-old Texas girl who suffered lifelong brain damage after a botched dental treatment is furious at the former dentist who was given probation last week.
For neglecting to contact 911 for almost five hours after Nevaeh Hall experienced a seizure, 46-year-old Bethaniel Jefferson was found guilty of a single charge of recklessly inflicting bodily damage and given a “slap on the wrist” by the court.
Now eleven years old, Nevaeh still cannot see, talk, move, or eat.
After dentist Bethaniel Jefferson was given a light term of probation, Neveah’s family members presented victim impact statements. They can’t believe the dentist who caused permanent brain damage won’t go to prison.
According to reports, Nevaeh started violently shaking and experienced three seizures after Jefferson sedated her in January 2016 to remove the rotten pulp and crown several of her teeth.
Instead of asking for help, Jefferson gave the girl more sedatives, which she later vomited. Her oxygen saturation was severely low, and her body temperature dropped as she continued to convulse for over five hours.
However, Jefferson hadn’t called 911 till 4:30 p.m. after repeatedly calling her church’s pastor and a pharmacy to inquire about possible medication interactions.
An emergency room doctor at Texas Children’s Hospital reported that Nevaeh’s vitals had stabilized but that she was in a stuporous condition the next day. The emergency room physician notified the dentistry board, and Jefferson later admitted fault during a board hearing. Jefferson’s license was revoked.
According to a report, the family won a civil action and was awarded $95.5 million, but they have yet to receive the entire amount since it exceeds Jefferson’s malpractice insurance.
Nevaeh’s father couldn’t believe how light the sentence was.
He said his daughter’s future is completely different now.
Jefferson’s future should be altered, too.
Jefferson can no longer practice dentistry and faces ten years in jail if she is found to have violated the terms of her probation.