This story may contain graphic details disturbing to some readers.
A Georgia mother and father were cheated of their chance to hold their first child in their arms after the baby’s head was severed from its body, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The couple claims the hospital, doctors and nurses tried to cover it up.
Jessica Ross and Treveon Isaiah Taylor were at Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, Ga. on July 9th awaiting the arrival of their son. However, the suit says the baby’s shoulders got stuck in the vaginal canal causing a stall in the delivery. Ross says she pushed for three hours but to no avail. She and her boyfriend requested that a C-section be performed to safely remove the infant but they were denied that option.
Instead, Dr. Tracey St. Julian is alleged to have used “ridiculously excessive force” on the baby’s head and neck to try and pull him out.
“Such tension and traction that it resulted in massive blunt force trauma to his head and neck, multiple skull and facial bone fractures, hemorrhaging on his brain, hemorrhaging in his neck and around his spinal cord, multiple fractures of the bones in his neck…all ultimately resulted in his decapitation,” read the complaint.
St. Julian then authorized a C-section but by that time, the baby’s heart monitor had gone flat. The baby’s legs and torso were removed during the procedure and the head was delivered vaginally, according to the suit. The couple said they were left in the dark about what happened behind the medical sheet until almost a week later.
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Although the parents demanded to see and hold their baby, hospital staff told them they were not allowed to touch or hold the baby, the complaint stated.
“Hospital staff allowed the young couple to only view their dead child,” the plaintiff team wrote. “During this viewing, their baby was wrapped tightly in a blanket with his head propped on top of his body in a manner such that those viewing him could not identify that he had been decapitated.”
Healthcare providers allegedly encouraged the mother and father of having their son cremated instead of being sent to a funeral home for burial. It was only on July 13 — several days after delivery and a day after Ross left the hospital — that staff told them about the decapitation, the statement said.
The hospital didn’t say much about the incident due to HIPAA privacy laws. However, they confirmed that St. Julian was not an employee of the hospital but a doctor of the couple who was granted privileges at the hospital, per Law&Crime.
“Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those impacted by this tragic event. While our sympathies go out to the family, Southern Regional Medical Center denies the allegations in the complaint referencing the hospital. Since this matter is in litigation, we cannot provide additional statements,” the hospital said in a statement.