Nearly two weeks after a West Elementary second-grader died after a routine trip to the dentist, family members are still grasping for answers.
Tyneisha Bell, 7, died Oct. 7 after visiting a dentist in Mufreesboro and having three teeth removed. She was placed under anesthesia.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” said grandfather Allen Martin, who had parental rights and said Tyneisha have lived with him and his wife, Gina, for the past 15 months. “This is something that won’t ever go away.”
In his effort to get answers, Martin has hired local attorney Michael Galligan, who is in the process of getting records from the medical examiner, dentist, anesthesiologist and hospital.
“It's alarming when a child has three baby teeth pulled and then dies that night,” said Galligan. “We will get to the bottom of this.”
Martin says he was the one who took Tyneisha to the dentist in Murfreesboro on Oct. 7. He said she was called back around 1:50 p.m., was weighed, and had her vital signs checked. He said Tyneisha was given what was called “goofy juice” to make her drowsy before anesthesia was administered.
Martin said he was told the surgery was complete and Tyneisha was taken to a recovery room around 3:30 p.m. He was given permission to enter the room at 3:50 p.m.
“She was hollering and said her mouth was hurting,” said Martin. “She was still hollering when we left at 4:15 p.m. I carried her to the car and put her seatbelt on and gave her some juice. That quieted her down a little bit.”
Martin said Tyneisha fell asleep on the ride home, but he figured that was normal considering the circumstances. He said Tyneisha was still groggy when he carried her into the house around 5:30 p.m. He said he was running an errand when his wife called at 6:45 p.m. and said to get home immediately, that an ambulance had been called, and Tyneisha had stopped breathing.
“She was hopping around the parking lot and was as happy as could be before we went in to see the dentist,” said Martin. “Because of the surgery, she wasn’t allowed to eat after midnight so the only thing bothering her was she was real hungry. She told me she wanted to go to Wendy’s after she got out, even though I knew she wouldn’t be in any condition for that after having three teeth pulled. The last thing she told me before I left was, ‘Don’t forget my Wendy’s.’”
Martin said Tyneisha was born before going full term and had mouth problems since birth. In addition to having those three teeth pulled, she had two other teeth worked on that day, he said.