The parents of Abiel Valenzuela Zapata are seeking answers to his mysterious death during a dental procedure at Tiny Teeth Pediatrics Dentistry in Wichita, Kansas on Tuesday.
The three-year-old was at the dentist to have several teeth pulled out because of a gum infection. It was said that he did not have any allergies to anaesthesia, and that he had a normal reaction towards it. But 30 minutes into his sedation, his pulse started to slow down and his cheek swelled while the dentist worked on his lower jawline.
Paramedics were immediately called to the clinic where they did CPR on him. He was eventually taken to the Wichita hospital where he was pronounced dead. The toddler's mother, Nancy Valenzuela, 25, said she was not made aware of the emergency until she saw her son being wheeled to the ambulance.
She said her son was fine before he had the procedure and remembered he cried when he was given anaesthesia. She reassured him that "everything's going to be okay." Now, she feels like she had failed Abiel as she expressed her disbelief that they would come out of the dentist's office "without a child."
"As a mother, you feel like you failed him because you didn't do anything to protect him. I really thought that I made the right choice," Nancy told NBC4 adding that she has made a promise to her son to find out what actually happened.
"'I couldn't do anything for you, but I will investigate.' It's what I told him. It's the only thing I can do and bring awareness," she said, as she shared that she is waiting for the coroner's report to find out what happened during the procedure.
Nancy remembered Abiel as full of energy and as "the wild one" from two of her other children. He would "always stand out the most anywhere he was." His death has reportedly been hard not just for the parents but for his siblings too.
"He's in a better place, he was just so young, and we loved him a lot," the bereaved mum said.
The doctor who operated on Abiel admitted that he has not seen anything like the boy's case in his career, especially on someone without allergic reactions to anaesthesia. But the police do not believe a crime had occurred, as such, there is no criminal investigation underway "at this time."