DENVER - The birth of their baby was supposed to be a joyous occasion for these new parents, but it quickly turned into an upsetting situation a Denver couple's newborn daughter's face was cut during an emergency cesarean section.
"To have your granddaughter born to come out to see the plastic surgeon, to get 13 stitches, is devastating, it’s heartbreaking," the baby’s grandfather, Walter Williams, told FOX 31 Denver.
The baby's parents, Reazjhana and Damarqus Williams said they originally planned to give birth to their baby girl, Kyanni naturally at Denver Health Hospital. However, Kyanni was born June 15 by emergency C-section after doctors were not able to find the baby’s heartbeat.
"They said our baby made a sudden movement and they couldn't hear her heartbeat or find it," Damarqus recalled. "They said her face was close to the placenta wall."
"They gave me a pill to help speed up my labor and a few minutes after that I was being rushed into an emergency C-section," Reazjhana said.
But when Damarqus saw his daughter for the first time, he noticed a gash on her left cheek, from her nose to her ear. Williams said the medical staff told him it was a "scratch," but he didn’t believe it.
"I was like ‘That’s not a scratch. That don’t [sic] look like a scratch to me," he told FOX Television Stations Tuesday. "My mind was everywhere. I got upset."
Once baby Kyanni was delivered, the family said she needed 13 stitches on her face. They said a plastic surgeon came in to stitch up the newborn's cheek.
"I tried to be understanding about what happened, but on top of the fact her face got cut and a plastic surgeon had to come do it, there’s just a lot of things I’m not understanding with the C-section," Reazjhana said. "I’ve never heard of anybody having to deal with their baby’s face looking like this after a C-section."
Williams said for the next few days, the hospital gave him the runaround, not telling him what happened in the delivery room. He said he was eventually told that Kyanni was too close to the placenta wall to where doctors were cutting during the delivery.
"I’m in pain for her," Williams added. "She can’t express the feeling. She can’t sleep on that side."
The 23-year-old father is also worried that his daughter will be ridiculed and bullied when she gets older and starts attending school.
"Everybody asking her what happened, or everybody making fun of her, like, ‘Oh, you’re scarface,'" he added.
The family is consulting a plastic surgeon for Kyanni in an effort to hide the scarring. They’re also looking for a lawyer to pursue legal action.
In the meantime, the family has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for medical expenses.
Denver Health Hospital provided the following statement:
An emergency C-section is only performed when the life of the mother and/or baby is at risk. Even with every precaution, there are inherent risks with any medical procedure, and while a laceration is a known complication in a C-section it is more common in an emergency procedure. We are saddened that there was an injury to the baby’s face but are relieved the baby was delivered healthy and is now at home. Denver Health and our providers have sat down with the family and remain committed to answer any further questions. Our focus is always on providing care in the best interest of the mother and child before, during, and after birth.
According to the National Institute of Child Health, a study of C-sections delivered at 13 university centers from 1999 to 2000 showed 0.7% of more than 37,000 C-sections ended with babies having skin lacerations.
The hospital released a statement, saying, "Denver Health has been in touch with the family directly. While this is a known medical complication in emergency C-sections, our focus is always on providing care in the best interest of the mother and child. At Denver Health, the safety and well-being of our patients is our number one priority."
This story was reported from Tampa, Florida and Los Angeles, California.