STOCKTON, Calif. (CNN Newsource) — Questions are growing after a 3-year-old girl died during a dental procedure in Stockton, California.
Concerned community members gathered with the girl’s grieving family to demand answers.
While loved ones demand justice for 3-year-old Daleyza Hernandez outside the children’s dental surgery center in Stockton, her mother sits in a van too grief-stricken to join the protest.
“I couldn’t bring myself to get out because I remember bringing my daughter (here),” mother Araceli Avila said. “I remember her being fine, walking, happy and healthy (Vasana).”
Avila spoke to KTXL in Spanish.
She says after a referral from Western Dental, she took little Daleyza to the center on Monday.
“No, all I want is that another mother doesn’t go through the same pain that I’m going through,” Avila said. “That she doesn’t lose a child.”
Avila says her daughter never complained about any pain before then.
“No, nothing hurt on my daughter,” Avila said.
The administrator of the center says the girl had some sort of reaction during the dental procedures but was stabilized and sent to St. Joseph’s Hospital. He says his staff does not know what went wrong.
Avila says she tried to ride in the ambulance with her daughter to the hospital but a nurse stopped her and told her that her daughter would be OK.
“How is she going to wake up when she has tape on her eyes?” Avila said. “My daughter wasn’t doing well.”
“What we want is justice. We want this place to be closed down,” aunt Yolanda Dawson said.
Now, her family and even strangers are joining her cause with their own concerns about the safety of this facility.
“I have a lot of concerns, especially when my grandchildren have been here at this facility,” Maria Pottratz said.
The administrator said they’re licensed by the state, and at every surgery, there’s one dentist, an anesthesiologist, and two assistants.
But for the family, they just want to know why this tragedy happened and how it can be prevented.
“And whoever is responsible to be criminally prosecuted,” Dawson said.
The surgery center is supposed to be open Friday, but because the administrator says they’ve been receiving death threats, he decided to close down the surgery center for the safety of his staff and patients.
The family planned a vigil Friday evening outside of the center
The family is also raising funds to help with the funeral costs.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.