AUSTIN (KXAN) – The parents of the child who died after a dental visit are pushing for answers about what caused their daughter’s death.
“She was our little angel. She was always laughing, always smiling,” said Elizandro Torres, Daisy Lynn’s father.
Betty Squier, the girl’s mother, said the dental office told her that there were more problems with her daughter’s teeth than expected; she had six cavities, four more than they thought she had. Then, something went wrong.
“They started right away with her and it wasn’t long until they called me back there saying there was complications,” her mother said. She was nervous to sedate her daughter for the procedure, but thought it was the right choice to deal with the cavities.
“They told me that it’s something that they do all the time and it’s not a big deal,” said Squier.
The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office is still waiting for toxicology results to help determine Daisy Lynn’s cause of death. Those results typically take six to eight weeks to get back.
“The dentist told me that they had done two fillings in the bottom of her teeth, but when they were doing… her four teeth on top, that’s when she wasn’t doing so well,” said Squier. “That’s when she started losing oxygen.”
Squier says the dentist initially told her that her daughter was fine after the procedure started Tuesday morning, the situation was under control, but they had performed CPR. Squier says she later found out her daughter was not breathing and had gone into cardiac arrest. Austin-Travis County EMS arrived to take Daisy Lynn to the hospital.
“When EMS came, they told me to give her a kiss bye before they put her in the ambulance,” said Squier.
Squier said, by that point, she knew her daughter wasn’t going to make it.
“I just want answers. That’s all I want is answers,” said Squier. “I don’t know what happened. I just want to know why my baby girl is not here with us today.”
“We thought it was just a routine procedure, to not be able to bring my baby home. It just tears you apart just to not know what’s going on,” said Torres.
The Texas Board of Dental Examiners is also investigating what happened. A spokesperson told KXAN News that investigators have 60 days to determine whether to file a complaint in the case and continue the investigation. While the family waits, they are preparing to lay their child to rest.
“She brought so much joy to our house and we don’t want her death to be in vain. We want to keep that happiness in the home and we want to keep our son happy. He’s looking for her right now,” said Torres. “He keeps telling us she’s coming back and he doesn’t understand. So, we just have to stay strong for him.”
“We’ll never get to see her grow up. We’ll never get to experience her first day of school, the day she goes to prom,” said Squier.
Austin Children’s Dentistry continued seeing patients at their northwest Austin location Thursday. A spokesperson said the business is continuing to follow best practices and procedures to keep children safe.
“There are some unanswered questions and I know it’s under investigation,” said Sarah Marshall, a spokesperson for the practice. “For the most part, we want to know those answers as well. It’s just really a tragedy.”
KXAN also asked if the office had spoken to the dentist and anesthesiologist to identify if there were any problems that would pose a risk to other patients.
“This practice has been in business 40 years and this is the first time something like this has happened. As tragic as it is, it is not an uncommon procedure,” Marshall said.
She said the office was not able to release any additional details and was waiting to get more information from the medical examiner. Marshall was also not able to tell us whether the dentist and contracted anesthesiologist were currently practicing at Austin Children’s Dentistry locations. Marshall also said the medical examiner is looking into what occurred and why Daisy Lynn died.
When asked if Marshall had talked to them about what happened and gotten more details, she responded, “No, at this point we don’t have additional details. I think the toxicology and the medical examiner’s report may reveal some additional details.”