Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mississippi Baby Born at 22 Weeks Refused Care by Doctors

After my last series of very long, very serious posts I was looking for something a little bit more upbeat. Instead I stumbled upon this. I wrote a while back on the story of Sarah Capewell. This heart wrenching story, which resembles the Capewell tragedy, took place in the US. I cannot even begin to imagine going through this. Here is the article.

FLOWOOD, Mississippi, October 14, 2009 ( - In a case echoing the tragic story of Britain's Sarah Capewell and son Jayden, a Mississippi mother says that her neonatologist refused to help her baby daughter survive because he believed she was too young, at 22 weeks 4 days gestation, to merit intervention.

Necie Franklin of Flowood, Mississippi, told (LSN) that Dr. Kenny Robbins of River Oaks Hospital refused to treat daughter Jessa Mackenzie after she was born suddenly in May, because she was three days shy of 23 weeks gestation - at which point he would have considered treating her at the hospital's Level II neonatal intensive care unit.

Franklin said that Jessa gasped for breath twice while in her arms, but was told by nurses that it was "just a reaction" - leading her to believe the child had died. Only after Jessa had been taken away, says Franklin, did she learn that the child still had a heartbeat.

Franklin, who says she has lost a child to a premature birth before, said it "shocked" her when Robbins said he would not help Jessa breathe.

"I looked at him and said, so you're telling me you're not going to do anything for my daughter?" said Franklin. She says Robbins "simply flat out refused."

"He actually told me this - This is what stuck in my mind most of all for days afterwards - was that I would be torturing my child to do something, because she was so little," the mother recalled. "She weighed just over a pound - which there are children who weigh less than that, that actually make it."

"They took so long to bring her back to me that she had already passed away by the time they had brought her back to me," said Franklin. "I don't know how many times after she left my sight that she gasped for breath. And they didn't even put a respirator on her to make her a little more comfortable."

She says Jessa's heart beat for about an hour and a half before she died.

Full story here.


  1. there are no words. how could we have come so far as to turn our backs on these precious babies?

  2. I have no idea how anyone could justify what this doctor did. It's absolutely sickening.

  3. This happened to my sister-in-law when her water broke at 21 weeks with twins. Baby A passed away in the womb, and they made her deliver due to her temperature spiking and fear of infection. Baby B was born and lay on her chest for 45 minutes, alive, before he passed away. The doctors said that their airways were too small for neo-natal tubes, and they would be hurting the babies more. My sister-in-law was absolutely devastated. She lost another set of twins at 23 weeks, but they babies both died in the womb before the doctors had a chance at saving them. What sickens me even more is that the insurance/doctors were fighting a war of coverage because the insurance companies said they wouldn't cover her to be on bed-rest in the hospital since the babies were not yet at a viable age.

    There are people who do more in this country for dogs than they will for children.

  4. Oh Delena, how heartbreaking! I can't imagine how terrible that must have been for your family! And to go through it twice. Prayers for your family!

  5. as health care professionals, we NEVER make decisions about providing care for babies based on financial concerns. Until you have the professional knowledge regarding the pathophysiology and what actually happens to these babies that are born this early, you have no right whatsoever making judgements regarding this physicians decisions. The babies that are born this early are most likely NOT VIABLE. I recently cared for a baby that was born at 23 weeks that we did everything for and it died. It wasn't viable, but we still tried. There is a certain point where you can't do anything. The equipment isn't small enough. Sometimes you just can't do anything. Period.

  6. Hmmmm... doctor's take the baby away from the parents and the mother later finds out that the child died, laying there, by itself two hours later. Yeah, I think I can judge that action as wrong. Amazingly I can also judge all health care providing abortionists actions as "wrong." Because there is right and wrong in this world, a fact that many physicians would like to ignore (thank God there are good doctor's too and that we have managed to find one). However in both of the stories I've read the problem is that the date seemed arbitrary and the doctor's even admitted that if the baby was a couple days older they would at least "try" regardless of the equipment.

    You don't seem to have all the facts either my friend and I am certainly glad that you aren't MY heathcare provider.


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