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Hospital accused of leaving woman with severe brain injury after botched birth

Source: , Posted On:   18 December 2020

Hospital accused of leaving woman with severe brain injury after botched birth

A New Jersey hospital is being accused of botching a Caesarean delivery and leaving a 28-year-old first-time mom with a severe brain injury this summer, according to the victim’s family.

Estefania Mesa went into sudden cardiac arrest and stopped breathing for at least nine minutes at Hoboken University Medical Center on July 20, while doctors performed an emergency C-section to deliver her daughter and allegedly failed to administer proper treatment in a timely manner, Mesa’s family and their lawyer, Samuel Davis, claim. 

“She didn’t collapse just anywhere; she stopped breathing in an operating room in the hospital with a medical team around her,” fumed Mesa’s boyfriend, Eduardo Argueta, who was planning to propose and buy a home to raise their family. 

It is believed she suffered hypoxic brain injury after her brain was deprived of oxygen for an excruciating nine minutes or more. 

“How do you let someone go without oxygen right in front of you? In the hospital bed right front of your face — how do you let that happen?”

“They just didn’t act.”

Argueta can’t pinpoint precisely what went so tragically wrong, saying the hospital has stonewalled him and has refused to turn over vital medical records related to those life-altering nine minutes despite a court order to do so.

He was able to piece together most of the events from some medical workers and other records. Davis is investigating a possible lawsuit against the hospital and any medical providers. 

“I have a strong belief that there was medical negligence,” Davis said. “From when they called the code to when they revived her was a tragically long time.”

Mesa remains in a minimally conscious state, unable to move her body freely.

“She was in a coma — completely unconscious,” said 29-year-old Argueta. “I just can’t believe how she goes from being happy, smiling, delightful and now she’s in a wheelchair not able to talk or even smile at me. It’s not the same.”

Mesa was in active labor when she was admitted to the hospital on July 19. The following day, she reached 8 cm of dilation and Argueta claims the hospital pressured them to have the surgery. 

Estefania Mesa

“The doctor told us if we don’t go in now for a C-section, there is a risk of losing the baby because the baby is in distress,” Argueta said. 

“The doctor was telling Estefania that she doesn’t have to fear anything. ‘Sign this and don’t worry, we’ve done this before,’” he continued. “I even asked, ‘Can I cut the cord?’ and she said, ‘Absolutely.’” 

The last time he saw his girlfriend intact, tears were streaming down her face as she was being wheeled into the operating room. He squeezed her hand and desperately tried to console her. 

Despite the doctor’s reassurance, the routine procedure soon descended into mayhem. Argueta recalled hearing a nurse running into the hallway screaming “code blue,” while a team of medical staff rushed into her room. Mesa was later moved to the ICU and was intubated. 

 “I saw her and I thought what the f–k. She had a bunch of wires everywhere, monitors everywhere, she had a ventilator. I was in shock to see her like this. I never expected her to be in that situation. That’s when I was just going crazy.  I was asking what went wrong and nobody knew anything.”

“They lied to us,” Argueta said.

Last month, Mesa was transferred to Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, where she is making some headway. She can now move her arms during therapy sessions and attempts to speak. She also met her baby girl, Emma, for the first time last month.

“Estefania was staring straight at her and I had the baby touch her face and she started crying,” Argueta said. 

“I know she’s in there, she’s fighting. We’re going to have faith, pray and stay positive.”

“We’re all humans, I understand, but this is someone’s life that may never be the same anymore. We just want some closure,” he added.

The medical center declined requests for comment.