STOCKTON, Calif. (WJBK) - A 3-year-old girl's parents are desperately looking for answers after their daughter died during a routine dental surgery in California.
Araceli Avila, the little girl's mother, just wants to make sure this doesn't happen to any other mother. She says a dentist at Western Dental recommended that her daughter, Daleyza, undergo surgery for two molars, two teeth removed and two teeth capped. They referred her to the Children's Dental Surgery Center in Stockton, Calif.
"All I did was I took my daughter to the dentist because they were going to fix her teeth and about 30 minutes later they brought her back dead," Araceli says. Avila shared pictures of her daughter before the surgery. Daleyza was vivacious and full of life.
"When we left for the hospital she ran after me, got into the van and she was very happy," says the girl's father, Jose Hernandez.
Araceli says she wasn't allowed inside while the surgery took place -- and while waiting for her daughter she saw an ambulance.
"And I stood up and went outside because I was like, they are coming for a kid, but I never thought it was for my child," she says. Moments later, a nurse took her aside and said something went wrong.
Her daughter's heart had stopped, and the nurse wondered if maybe she had underlying health issues.
"My daughter was very healthy," Araceli says.
"This is not an easy thing to deal with. I've been doing this for almost ten years now; I've never had a situation like this," says David Thompson, the administrator at Children's Dental Surgery Center. Thompson says at every surgery there's one dentist, an anesthesiologist and two assistants.
"We're committed to helping kids every single day. That's our mission, that's why we're here. It's risky; not everyone wants to do it," he adds.
But all Daleyza's family wants now is answers - how could a simple dental procedure end in such a tragedy?
"They haven't said how she died and what she died of," Araceli says.
The Stockton Police Department is investigating Daleyza's death. They say at this time the case isn't suspicious or considered criminal.