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British Girl Starved After Teeth Pulled

British Girl Starved After Teeth Pulled

Jill Lawless / AP

February 10, 2009

Hearle said the parents signed a consent form for the procedure. The Wallers said they thought they were consenting to one tooth being removed. Janet Waller told the inquest that Sophie was “devastated” when she found out the eight teeth had been removed.

She said that doctors did not adequately take care of Sophie after the girl was sent home from hospital on Nov. 17, 2005, eight days after the operation.

Janet Waller said she and her husband phoned the hospital to express concerned about Sophie’s weight loss and refusal to eat, and were told not to bring her in, but to talk to the community child psychologist assigned to the case.

Sophie’s father, Richard Waller, said he phoned the psychologist “every day, sometimes twice a day, to say how unwell she looked.”

“I kept asking her to come round but she said she would next week and there was nothing to worry about,” he said.

The psychologist, Kerry Davison, told the inquest Tuesday that she spoke to the parents two days before Sophie died and was told she was eating.

“On Nov. 30, Mr. Waller said he was concerned about Sophie’s weight, he passed the phone to Mrs. Waller who seemed more optimistic and said she had been eating fruits and yoghurt,” Davison said.

Ellis, the pediatrician, said Sophie had stopped eating when she had loose teeth in the past, and “it was clear there were psychological issues” around her refusal to eat.

A coroner’s inquest is required in Britain to establish the facts when someone dies unexpectedly, violently or of unknown causes, but has no power to punish anyone. The coroner is expected to rule next week.

The Wallers have criticized the time it has taken to hold the inquest. The coroner’s office said it was a complex case and it took time to gather reports and inquiries from the different agencies involved.

© YellowBrix 2009


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  • Joek_max50

    JoeKeller

    almost 3 years ago

    52 comments

    This is unbelievable... The doctors acted like they were from the Medieval Age. This is a weird case, but the parents are to blame as well. I talked about this case with one of my friends that works for Nashua dentists. We both agreed that the case described here could have had a happy end. I do not understand how the mother waited for so long until her child died...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Alicia123

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    IM SORRY, BUT AS SHE WAS A MOTHER TO A 15 & 9 YEAR OLD ASWELL, SHE DID HAVE INSTINCTS, FOR WHATEVER REASON, THE STUPID WOMAN CHOSE TO IGNORE THEM!! AS A FIRST TIME MOTHER MYSELF TO A 2 YEAR OLD, IF SHE WAS EVER SO ILL TO THE POINT OF MALNUTRITION, WILD HORSES COULDNT STOP ME FROM KICKING DOWN THE DAMN DOOR OF THAT HOSPITAL AND BLOODY DEMAND TO SEE A DOCTOR (I MEAN CHRIST, WE PAY ENOUGH TO THE NHS IN OUR WORKING LIFETIME THATS THE LEAST THEY CAN DO!!) BUT I CANT BELIVE THAT MOTHER HAS JUST TAKEN THE REASSURANCE OF THE HOSPTIAL RECEPTIONIST WHO ANSWERS THE PHONE..SHE COULD SEE HER DAUGHTER WASTING AWAY IN FRONT OF HER, FOR GODS SAKE!!!! !!! YES THE DOCTORS ARE TO BLAME FOR NOT DOING THEIR JOBS AS USUAL (JUST LOOK AT TRAGIC THE BABY P CASE)..BUT ONLY A MOTHER KNOWS HER OWN CHILD, AND SHE ALONE IS SOLEY RESONSIBLE FOR THEIR WELLBEING. FEEL SORRY FOR THE POOR COW, AS NO MOTHER SHOULD LOOSE HER CHILD, BUT SHE IS MAINLY TO BLAME FOR SITTING BY WHILST WATCHING HER OWN CHILD SLOWLY KILL HERSELF.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    that freaking dentist was insane. removing all her baby teeth was just plane stupid. he was only trying to make his job easier and didn't give a rats ass for that little girl. she was traumatized for sure. and her parents were only following the advice they were given. Whenever patients stand up to doctors they are only shot down anyway so to me it is 85 % the doctors and therapists faults. the parents only 15% because they are not medical experts and could not have suggested a valuable treatment plan such as a feeding tube. gosh darn it. watermelon. SERIOUSLY???? agreed with previous comment. take their licenses away immediately.

  • 6-7-2006-012_max50

    brownie1

    over 5 years ago

    14 comments

    I cant believe that the parents did not notice a drastic change in their child. It is common sense that humans need nutrition to survive, how did they feel that she was getting enough. She had to also be in pain if all of her teeth were extracted. This seems unreal to me. What was wrong with the parents, what happen to mothers instinct?

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    smschaflePHN

    over 5 years ago

    38 comments

    This is tragic, I agree, but ultimately the responsibility rests with the parents. Why didn't they take her to another pediatrician or the emergency room. If one of my children had lost weight and was refusing to eat, I would have tried everyone and everything.

  • 100_0803_0099_099_max50

    Shaymarie87

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    The poor sweet thing. Eight years old, a deathly fear of dentists and having all your teeth removed because of it. It's no wonder she wouldn't open her mouth, she thought she'd lose something else. What's even more heartbreaking is that it has taken three years before anyone has really done anything. My heart goes out to her parents. I could never imagine losing a child so tragically.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    cxg174

    over 5 years ago

    50 comments

    This is tragic, but only the parents were truly aware of the magnitude of the situation. When I was 7- I refused to eat after a tonsillectomy and went to about 40 lbs. They threatened me with a feedng tube and I finally started to eat again. It was a very traumatic event for me and I responded with anorexia. I remember it clearly. Too bad this child did not get the help she needed to overcome her fear.

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    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    The dentist and doctors should lose their licenses for neglecting the child, especially when the parents were pleading for help. Where is their compassion?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    gingerbread2735

    over 5 years ago

    6 comments

    hey is this for real or i am dozing.what is really going on around us is this end time or down right carelessness .

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    laura_m

    over 5 years ago

    20 comments

    If that were my child, I would not have stopped hounding every doc until my child was seen..even if I had to exaggerate the story further. As a parent, you do what it takes....

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    Welcome to socialized medicine! And this is what most Americans want? Unbelievable.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    kristp

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    This is a telephone triage and continuity of care issue. Someone had to recognize this problem and get this child seen...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    NOw, I wish that I had not read this article.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    raymoss1

    over 5 years ago

    220 comments

    DId anyone think of a temporary feeding tube? How sad for that little girl.

  • Austinnurse12a_max50

    AustinNurse12

    over 5 years ago

    94 comments

    Oh how sad! This girl didn't just need to be taken to the ER - she needed help from a mental health professional!

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