A 3-year-old Kansas boy died after what police said was an “unanticipated reaction to medicine” given to him during a dental procedure, a local report said. Abiel Zapata-Valenzuela, of Scott City, was reportedly at the dentist to have teeth extracted.
“The last thing I told him was cause he cried cause he felt the needle and stuff, so I told him, ‘Papi, everything is going to be okay.’ I’m like ‘You’re fine,’ and as a mother, you just feel like I failed him,” Nancy Valenzuela, the boy’s mother, told KWCH.com.
A Witchita police spokesman told KAKE.com that authorities were called at around 8 a.m. on July 6 about a child who became unresponsive while receiving dental treatment.
“It is believed that the child had an unanticipated reaction to medicine provided during the course of his dental procedures,” Officer Trevor Macy told KAKE.com.
His mother told KWCH.com that Abiel’s heart stopped beating at some point during the procedure.
In a statement provided to KAKE.com, Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry, where Abiel was being treated, said it was “devastated by the death” of Abiel and said staff is praying for the family.
“Like Abiel’s family, we, too, want to understand how this tragic event may have occurred,” the statement said. “Our practice has never experienced an incident like this, and we had no reason to expect this procedure would be anything other than routine.”
The statement thanked EMS responders who arrived within minutes of the call.
“Didn’t expect to come out of there without a child,” Valenzuela told KWCH.com. “I don’t think any parent, any parent ever expects to come out of a place where you feel like they’d be secure… but we did.”