Five-year-old girl left with collapsed lungs after dental surgery
Five-year-old Autumn Ferguson went in for a routine dental surgery in August, but it turned out to be anything but.
“It was scary when I heard it, I kind of just went shocked and then when I found out it was touch-and-go, my heart just sunk to my stomach thinking I can’t lose my daughter,” Autumn’s mother, Brittany Ambrose, said.
Autumn had two teeth pulled and caps put on at CDW Surgical Solutions, the procedure was only supposed to take an hour, but ended up being closer to three.
“Maybe 45 minutes to an hour later, they finally came out and said, ‘Look, there’s been some difficulties, your daughter’s not breathing on her own,” said Ambrose.
Autumn was rushed to hospital on life support before being transferred to Saskatoon for further care. Autumn’s dad says he was told during a meeting with the dental clinic that the oxygen was hooked up incorrectly.
“The way he phrased it was a nurse reached over their shoulder when they shouldn’t have and they bypassed what they want to call a relief valve, which we now know was the ventilator, they bypassed that and hooked high pressure oxygen directly to her air way,” Autumn’s father, Spencer Ferguson, said.
CTV reached out to CDW Surgical Solutions, who confirmed that Autumn’s surgery was performed at their clinic, but they couldn’t comment further while its under investigation.
Ferguson says they’ve received an apology from CDW, but still want more answers.
“You or I could figure out that you shouldn’t be hooking high pressure oxygen directly to somebody, those ventilators are there for a reason, so why you would ever say, ‘I don’t need that’, it still leaves me wondering why,” Ferguson said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Spencer’s aunt, Joanna Fulawka, to cover some of the medical costs the Fergusons have incurred and help them while they miss work to care for their daughter. Ambrose works at the SaskTel call centre and is currently on strike, while Ferguson is a plumber.
Fulawka says the outpouring of support for the family has been incredible.
“It’s really restored my faith in Regina and Saskatchewan and just people around the world,” she said. “I can’t believe how many people are concerned about her.”
Autumn will be heading to Edmonton next week for throat surgery, which her parents hope will allow her to get back to a normal life.
“She’s not 100 per cent who she was before, she used to be running around, dancing and singing, she had to be and was always the centre of attention, and now she’s a little more reserved than she was before,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson says it could be years before they know the true damage that may have been done.