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OB-GYN sued for allegedly beheading baby during delivery

A Georgia couple has filed a lawsuit after they say their baby was decapitated during delivery, which the hospital and doctor allegedly covered up.

Jessica Ross, 20, and her longtime boyfriend, Treveon Isaiah Taylor, were excited about the birth of their first child, a boy they were going to name Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr., her attorney Cory Lynch said Wednesday in a press conference.

According to Lynch, the two were seeing Dr. Tracey L. St. regularly. Julian at Premier Woman OB-GYN, who then delivered at Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, Georgia, south of Atlanta. The lawsuit accuses St. Julian’s of failing to follow emergency obstetric protocols when the baby’s shoulder became trapped during an attempted vaginal delivery; instead, he allegedly applied excessive force that killed the baby when its head was severed from its body.

The doctor, hospital and unnamed staff are accused of trying to cover up what had happened by not allowing the couple to immediately see their son’s body.

“Unfortunately, their dreams and hopes turned into a nightmare that was snuffed out by Southern Regional Medical Center,” Lynch said.

Jessica Ross and her partner were excited about the pending birth of their son, her lawyer said.

Photo courtesy of Ross’s family

According to the lawsuit, Ross was admitted to the emergency room on July 9 after her water broke around 10 a.m. and was fully dilated by 8:40 p.m.

During the delivery, the baby got stuck in the vaginal canal, causing Ross to push for three hours without labor, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses St. Julian’s of failing to take adequate steps to reposition the baby or take action as the baby’s oxygen levels and heart rate dropped. Eventually, the baby’s head was severed from its torso, and only then did St. Julian make the decision to perform a C-section, according to the lawsuit.

The baby’s legs and torso were delivered via caesarean section; however, her head was delivered vaginally, according to the lawsuit.

Lawyers told reporters Wednesday that hospital staff wrapped the boy’s body in a blanket and only allowed the parents to see it behind glass.

“In an attempt to basically misrepresent and miscommunicate to the family, when they swaddled this baby tightly, they propped the baby’s head up on top of the blanket to make it look like he was swaddled when he wasn’t,” Dr. Roderick Edmond. , who also represents the family, said at the press conference.

In the days that followed, health care providers “discouraged” the couple from performing an autopsy and instead “encouraged” them to cremate their son’s remains, according to the lawsuit.

Lynch told reporters that the hospital and staff did not report the death to Clayton County police, although the funeral home did.

The couple was eventually told of their son’s beheading on July 13 by St. Julian’s after Ross was released from the hospital, according to the lawsuit.

“They went out of their way to not let the family know what happened that day, and it’s a shame,” Lynch said.

The Clayton County Police Department confirmed on social media that it has opened an investigation into the hospital’s lack of information about the baby’s death.

The suit seeks damages for negligence, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“[Ross] was awake and conscious when it became clear that her son’s life was in danger due to shoulder dystocia,” the lawsuit said. “She has been deeply traumatized mentally and emotionally to learn that her baby was abused during the ‘attempted vaginal birth and was finally decapitated’.

Edmond added that the incident represents a larger issue affecting black mothers in the US, citing the 2021 Blue Cross Blue Shield. data on racial disparities in maternal health.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has described an “urgent maternal health crisis,” with black women under the age of 24 more likely to experience serious complications in childbirth than white women over the age of 35. Ross’ doctor was also a black woman.

HuffPost reached out to St. Julian for comment for this article, but did not receive a response as of late Thursday afternoon.

In a statement to HuffPost, a spokesperson for Southern Regional Medical Center said that St. Julian is not an employee of the hospital.

“Physicians are generally not employed by hospitals,” the spokesman said. “They receive privileges to provide services, perform procedures and visit their patients at hospitals where they have privileges.”

“Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those affected by this tragic event,” the statement added. “Our prayers also remain with the dedicated team of doctors, nurses and staff at Southern Regional Medical Center who cared for this patient.”

The hospital declined to provide other information, citing privacy laws, but said it was cooperating with all investigations. “The hospital voluntarily reported the death to the Clayton County Coroner’s Office and is cooperating with all investigations,” the statement said. “Because this matter is in litigation, we are unable to provide additional statements.”


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