- Publish Date
- Saturday, 12 August 2017, 3:18PM
A first time mother who smothered her newborn son when she was asleep is suing the hospital whose nurses put him in her bed to breastfeed even though she was still 'groggy' from taking Vicodin and Ambien after delivering him via C-section.
Monica Thompson, 42, gave birth to her son Jacob on August 2, 2012, at Portland Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Oregon.
Three days later, while she was still recovering from the procedure and being treated with strong pain medication, nurses brought the boy in to her bed in the middle of the night to be breastfed.
They left the pair alone with Jacob in the bed and she fell asleep. An hour later, she awoke to find him unresponsive in her arms.
He died seven days later when his mother and father Graham turned off his life support. The baby had suffered severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen to his body.
Mrs Thompson is now suing the hospital for $8million.
She has accused staff of being negligent by first giving the baby to her to breastfeed when she was under the influence of such strong pain medication and for also leaving her alone with him when she was in such a drowsy state.
In court documents obtained by DailyMail.com, her lawyer described how she was given a 'combination of narcotic painkillers and sleep aids' to allow her to sleep on August 5, three days after she gave birth.
At 3am, an unnamed nurse brought Jacob into her room to be breastfed, the lawsuit claims.
'[The nurse] put Jacob next to his mother in her bed so that she could breastfeed him. [They] left the room and left mother and son unattended,' it claims.
'About an hour later, still groggy and drowsy, Mrs Thompson noticed her son unresponsive in her arms.'
Worried, she tried a number of ways to wake the baby up.
'She tried to stimulate her son's suckling reflexes without success. She touched his eyes and got no response. She poked him and talked to him with no reaction.
'She called for a nurse while she tried to get him to respond,' her lawyer wrote.
When no one came to her room, she then carried the limp baby out into the hospital corridor and 'frantically' cried for help, the lawsuit said.
'A nurse noticed the situation, examined Jacob and called a Code Blue; Jacob was not breathing,' it said.
The boy was taken away to be worked on by doctors and the mother was forced to return to her room and wait for news, her lawyer said.
Jacob was stabilized but never regained consciousness. He was taken to a children's hospital and was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Doctors at that hospital concluded through a series of tests that he had suffered severe hypoxia, a lack of oxygen to the body's tissue, and said his brain was 'severely and permanently damaged'.
On August 12, 10 days after she had given birth, Mr and Mrs Thompson followed doctors' advice and turned off his life support.
Mrs Thompson's lawsuit is filed not just on her behalf but also on the behalf of her late son.
She claims the hospital caused him harm by giving his mother such strong pain medication when she was going to have to breastfeed him.
She also claims it was negligent by leaving him in the bed with her alone when she was drowsy and by not monitoring them for an hour.
'Jacob suffocated under his mother while she was under the influence of narcotics and sleep aids. His inability to breath caused him desperation and anxiety.
'His breathing eventually stopped. His pulse was weak or absent.'
When doctors performed CPR on the baby, they broke his ribs which 'can cause substantial pain,' the lawsuit said.
Mrs Thompson believes the hospital owes his estate $3million in damages as a result.
She claims she is owed a further $8million personally, saying the hospital has 'directly caused her severe emotional distress, severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety and prolonged grief disorder'.
She is asking for an additional $100,000 to pay for medical and counselling expenses.
Portland Adventist Medical Center did not respond to questions on Thursday morning.
Source: Daily Mail.