Parents Release Video of Baby Being Dropped by Doctor Amid Fears Impact Caused Brain Hemorrhage
For many parents, the day their child was born is associated with nothing but positive memories.
This wasn’t the case, however, for one Arizona couple, who watched as their doctor dropped one of their premature newborn twins just minutes after making her arrival.
In the days following the incident at Chandler Regional Medical Center, Derrick and Monique Rodgers say they were stunned to learn from an outside pediatrician that their daughter Morgan was suffering from a brain hemorrhage.
As they wait to get answers about Morgan’s health, the couple — who claims they were left in the dark and never issued an apology for the accident — tells PEOPLE they are speaking out in hopes to prevent this from happening again.
“An apology goes a long way. Like a, ‘Hey, I do apologize, I feel for your family that we dropped your baby. How can we help out and relieve this situation or give you some kind of peace at mind? Can we do tests?’ Derrick says. “But none of that was said. It was all done behind our backs.”
On Feb. 14, 2019, Derrick and Monique welcomed two beautiful little girls into the world. Arriving just minutes apart, Morgan and Madison were premature by three weeks but appeared to be healthy.
Derrick, already a father to two children, excitedly watched on and recorded the moment that the doctor and nurses began to clean off the older twin. But as his second daughter made her arrival, Derrick looked away to watch — which is when, he says, things quickly made a turn for the worst.
Still recording, which Derrick says he had prior permission to do, Morgan is seen getting cleaned off before slipping out of her doctor’s hands and landing on the table — something that momentarily stunned the new dad of twins.
“Really it nerved me. I was shocked so I couldn’t do anything at the moment,” he says, adding that he told his wife about the drop after they took Morgan to the NICU since she didn’t witness it herself.
Derrick says he later confronted the doctor inside of the NICU but says he had no response after he showed him the video.
“I told him, ‘You dropped my baby’ and he made it nonchalant and said it was an ‘almost fall,’ until I showed him the video,” Derrick explains. “He had no words to say. I don’t know if it was a guilty feeling, but of course, he didn’t want to incriminate himself by saying, ‘Yes, I did,’ so he said nothing.”
The couple, he says, continued to bring the incident to the attention of staff in the hospital “every single day” after it happened, but nothing came of it.
In the meantime, the sisters were treated in the NICU and eventually discharged — Madison first, with Morgan following her 12 days later.
After finally taking home both twins, Derrick and Monique noticed that Morgan was vomiting through her nose and at times, shaking, so they took her to an outside pediatrician.
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Through her medical records, Derrick claims the pediatrician disclosed that Morgan had undergone tests in the hospital, which found bleeding in her brain — something her parents claim they were unaware of.
“We were never notified about that… not once did I hear that come out of any doctors mouth. If they would’ve said that they were going to run tests, myself or my wife would’ve made an effort to be there [to] know exactly what was going on,” Derrick says. “They just sent us home like everything was okay.”
“If something would’ve happened to my baby at home, and I did not know or have any idea what was going on, who knows what would’ve came out from that?” he adds.
In an effort to raise awareness about the matter, Monique posted the video on her personal Facebook, as well as a community group, as the parents awaited a response from the hospital’s executive staff.
Between the two posts, the clip has since been shared over 170,000 times. After going viral, Derrick says they were finally contacted by a higher-up individual at Chandler Regional Medical Center, but wish they would’ve been confronted about the issue sooner.
“It took for us to bring this out to the world for him to contact us,” he says. “We were not able to get in contact with him, but the moment that this went viral, all of a sudden, he wants to give us his personal cell phone and contact us.”
In a statement issued to ABC 15, a representative for Chandler Regional Medical Center said they were looking into the incident, but could not release any further information.
“Because of patient privacy laws and a request from the family not to release information, we are unable to comment specifically on this matter. The safety of our patients and their families is always our top concern. The medical team at Dignity Health Chandler Regional Medical Center takes this matter extremely seriously and is working to conduct a comprehensive review.
Representatives at Chandler Regional Medical Center did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In the meantime, Derrick says he and his wife have an upcoming doctor’s appointment for Morgan scheduled in August — though they’re looking for someone to see her sooner — to determine the severity of her hemorrhage and whether the bleeding was caused by the post-birth drop.
And while many may wonder if the new parents plan on taking legal action, Derrick says at this time, the only things they’d like to receive are answers and a whole-hearted apology.
“The only thing we’re worried about right now is getting answers,” he says. “I want concrete evidence to know exactly where we’re gonna take this.”
“[Monique] just wanted to bring awareness [with the video]. It was a horrible experience, but it was more of an educational deal,” he adds. “We both feel like just an apology would have done such a tremendous better to us, as far as our feelings and our worries. We didn’t even get that.”