Sophie Waller, 8, Starved To Death

An eight-year-old died after doctors pulled all of her baby teeth. Little Sophie Waller had gone to the dentist for a cracked baby tooth. That act started a chain of events that lead to her death.

She refused to open her mouth so doctors at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro took that tooth and the rest of her baby teeth out in an operation.The doctors said that they needed to pull all the teeth to avoid the need for any further operations.

After the surgery Sophie refused to open her mouth, even for her parents. She stopped eating. The doctors ignored that behaviour and sent her home anyway. Three weeks late the child had starved to death.

Janet Waller was told to take her daughter to a child psychologist. That doctor said not to fear the weight loss the child suffered from refusing to eat. Another doctor told the family to give her nutrition drinks without bothering to examine her.

On December 2, 2005 Sophie was dead. The official cause was kidney failure brought on by starvation and dehydration. Before Sophie’s operation she weighed a healthy 72 pounds. The coroner saw a child weighing a third less than that.

Canoe reports:

No one saw her after she was discharged from hospital,” Waller, 34, told the inquest Monday. “I told (a child psychologist) she was sucking on a watermelon, she told me that was enough for her to survive on.”

The child had been in hospital for eight days after her surgery. That was the last time she was seen by a doctor. The doctors said that they were not concerned by the girl’s rapid weight loss.

After almost four years an inquest is being held on the child’s death.

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