Family of 12-year-old amputee files lawsuit against hospital

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) — When an accident at school brought 12-year-old Meiah Tafoya to the emergency room, her family claimed she had to wait 10 hours before she had surgery.

The family files a lawsuit against the hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, claiming she should have been helped sooner.

Stephanie Sedillo said it began on Oct. 14, 2022, when her daughter Meiah fell at school and injured her leg. “I get a call from the school saying there’s been an incident and ambulance was on the way and that’s all they told me, so I rushed to the school,” Sedillo said.

Meiah Tafoya was taken to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque.

“I freaked out a lot because I couldn’t really move my leg, and I was scared it was broken, which it was,” Meiah said.

Sedillo said her daughter was triaged and had an X-ray on her left leg, but then waited 10 hours before she was seen again. Sedillo said she repeatedly told medical staff that Meiah’s leg was getting cold, but was told to wait.

“The guy ended up saying that he panicked because he realized her leg was cold and she was screaming so madly that he said, ‘We have to have her transported to UNM,'” Sedillo recalled.

A pediatric surgeon at the University of New Mexico Hospital decided that Meiah’s left leg needed to be amputated. Meiah had to undergo more than four surgeries and spend more than three months in the hospital, her family said.

“It was hell; it was tough,” said Sedillo.

Sedillo believes Meiah would not have had to amputate her leg if she had been seen earlier at the Presbyterian Hospital. The family are now suing Presbyterian Hospital over alleged medical malpractice, saying they acted “inappropriately” and failed to provide “timely” treatment.

“We’re going to find out exactly why this happened and hopefully prevent this from ever happening to anyone else,” said Attorney Todd Bullion, who represents the Sedillo family with Attorney Jason Bowles.

Nexstar’s KRQE has reached out to Presbyterian Hospital for comment but has not received a response as of the time of publication.

According to court documents, the hospital said it did not have enough information on the allegations. It said that “all the allegations of the complaint” are “not expressly admitted or denied”.

The family set up GoFundMe to help cover medical expenses. Despite the incident, Meiah said she tries to focus on the positive things in her life. “It’s a little easy, a little hard. But I’ll get through it,” she said.