A strange and saddening case unfolded in Mexico last week as a three-year-old girl who was declared dead woke up at her own funeral and then ultimately passed away – again.
The family of Camila Roxana Martinez Mendoza is accusing the Salinas de Hidalgo Basic Community Hospital of negligence after they pronounced the toddler dead prematurely.
The young girl had been experiencing vomiting and fever when her mother, Mary Jane Mendoza, rushed her to see a pediatrician in their hometown of Villa de Ramos on Aug. 17, El Universal newspaper reported.
Concerned about dehydration, the doctor recommended the sick child be taken to a hospital in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí. Doctors at Salinas de Hidalgo Basic Community Hospital temporarily lowered her temperature and tracked her oxygen levels. She was released and given a prescription for paracetamol which treats fever and pain, but the child’s condition continued to worsen throughout the day.
Another doctor prescribed a different medication and suggested she be fed fruits and water.
Still, a THIRD doctor recommended she go back to the hospital as the child would not stop vomiting.
“They wanted to give her (intravenous therapy). They took a long time to put oxygen on her,” her mother said. “They didn’t put it on her because they couldn’t find her little veins; finally, a nurse managed it.”
After ten minutes with no positive results, the IV was removed and the child was taken away from her mother. “She still was hugging me, they took her away and told me, ‘You have to let her rest in peace.’” the grieving mother recalled. Curiously, Mendoza was never allowed access to her child again before the toddler was declared dead from extreme dehydration.
A viewing was held the following day during which Mendoza saw the glass cover on the coffin fogging up. Friends and family suggested she was hallucinating and that she should not open the coffin, but the child’s paternal grandmother decided to check for herself after she noticed the child’s eyes moving. The coffin was opened, and sure enough, the young girl had a pulse.
Young Camila was rushed back to the hospital in Salinas where doctors tried unsuccessfully to revive her. She was again pronounced dead, this time from cerebral edema.
“That was really where my baby was done. We are devastated because my girl was a very happy person, she got along with everyone, she didn’t single anyone out,” Mendoza said. “We have many people on the ranch who support us because she was cherished.”
The two death certificates list the cause of death differently, the first being from dehydration and the second from dehydration, cerebral edema and metabolic failure.
“What I really want is for justice to be served. I have no grudge against the doctors [who] went to extreme [measures],” the mother said. “I only ask that the doctors, nurses and directors be changed so that it does not happen again.”
An investigation headed by San Luis Potosí State Attorney General Jose Luis Ruiz as well as an autopsy are underway.
The young girl would have started her first day of kindergarten this week.
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