Health

Family Sues After 2-Year-Old Son Died Following Tonsil Surgery

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Caleb ShamrellCaleb Shamrell

Caleb Shamrell was just about to turn 3 years old when he died after what was supposed to be a routine tonsillectomy.

The surgery was to treat a condition known as “hot potato mouth,” which causes problems with speech and sleeping, The WCF Courier reports.

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After the December 2014 procedure, Jenelle and Brigham Shamrell took their son home, but he began vomiting blood, according to KWWL. 

Caleb's parents took him to a local hospital. He was then transferred to the medical center where he had the tonsillectomy done, and he underwent emergency surgery there.

Finally, he was taken to the University of Iowa's Children's Hospital in Iowa City.

“My husband and I approached Caleb's care team in Iowa City,” Jenelle told The WCF Courier. "We both had always been registered organ donors and big supporters of organ donation, though we had never volunteered. We figured if we weren't going to use our parts, somebody else could. We just never thought we would have to make that decision for one of our kids."

Caleb died on Dec. 17, 2014. He would have turned 3 the next day.

A year later, his parents are suing the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare of Iowa and the doctors at Covenant Medical Center and Sartori Memorial Hospital, alleging medical malpractice that led to Caleb’s death, KWWL reports.

The 10-page lawsuit alleges that doctors failed to get their son into emergency surgery in a timely manner and to give him necessary blood transfusions. The medical professionals are also accused of giving Caleb too much anesthesia and and too many electroshocks, resulting in "serious and potentially fatal brain damage.”

"Nobody signs paper work and takes their child to the hospital for a tonsillectomy expecting them to die," Jenelle told KWWL.

Sources: WCF Courier (2), KWWL Photo credit: KWWL