Fatal Tonsillectomy: Parents Of Toddler Suing After Simple Procedure Goes Horribly Wrong

Benjamin Simon

Two heartbroken parents are suing Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and the doctors who performed a tonsillectomy on their 3-year-old son Caleb, which resulted in his tragic death.

According to KWWL, Jenelle and Brigham Shamrell scheduled a basic tonsillectomy for Caleb after they realized he was having trouble with speech and sleep, a health condition known as "hot potato mouth." A doctor suggested the toddler have his tonsils removed, which is almost always a simple and safe surgery. But this led the Shamrell family into an unfortunate series of medical malpractice errors.

"Nobody signs paper work and takes their child to the hospital for a tonsillectomy expecting them to die," said Jenelle Shamrell.

According to the WCF Courier, the parents brought their boy home from a seemingly successful procedure in December of 2014. But it was immediately apparent that something had gone terribly wrong.

"He started throwing up blood and that's when we know that he had been bleeding for a very long time."

"When we got to Iowa City, we knew what the most likely outcome was," said Jenelle. "My husband and I approached Caleb's care team in Iowa City. We both had always been registered organ donors and big supporters of organ donation, though we had never volunteered. We figured if we weren't going to use our parts, somebody else could. We just never thought we would have to make that decision for one of our kids."

Now, a year after the fatal tonsillectomy took the life of their son, Jenelle and Brigham Shamrell have decided to seek some kind of justice. A 10-page lawsuit lists the failings of the medical professionals, but does not request a specific amount of compensation for their loss, because the Shamrell's lawyer has informed them not to do so at this time.

A statement released from Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare said, "providing safe care to our patients is our top priority. We take the privilege to provide that care very seriously."

There are no current details about the status of the lawsuit, so check back with the Inquisitr for any follow-up information on how the fatal tonsillectomy case is settled.

The Shamrells may not be able to bring their three-year-old back, but they hope to at least receive some vindication regarding the deadly errors made by the doctors involved.

During his short life, Caleb Shamrell enjoyed playing with toy trucks and pretending to be a superhero.

"Good things had to come from it. There had to be some point to it. It just was just one way things could make sense when everything else didn't. If his life wasn't going to be saved, then his life needed to save other people."

How do you think the Shamrells should be compensated for losing their child to a fatal tonsillectomy?

[Photos courtesy of Brandon Pollock and Alive in Me Foundation]