ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – When an accident at school landed 12-year-old Meiah Tafoya in the emergency room, her family claims she had to wait 10 hours before getting surgery.
The family is filing a lawsuit against the Albuquerque, New Mexico, hospital, claiming she should have been helped sooner.
Stephanie Sedillo said it started on Oct. 14, 2022, when her daughter, Meiah, fell and hurt her leg at school. “I get a call from the school, saying there was an incident, and rescue was on the way, and that’s all they told me, so I rushed to the school,” said Sedillo.
Meiah Tafoya was rushed to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque.
“I was freaking out like a lot because I couldn’t really like move my leg, and I was scared that it was broken, which it was,” said Meiah.
Sedillo said her daughter was triaged and had an X-ray on her left leg, but then waited 10 hours before being seen again. Sedillo said she repeatedly told medical staff Meiah’s leg was getting cold but was told to wait.
“The guy finally said that he started panicking because he realized that her leg was cold, and she was screaming so crazy that, he’s like, ‘We gotta get her transported to UNM,'” recalled Sedillo.
A pediatric surgeon at the University of New Mexico Hospital determined Meiah’s left leg would have to be amputated. Meiah had to get more than four surgeries and spend more than three months in the hospital, her family said.
“It’s been hell; it’s been hard,” said Sedillo.
Sedillo believes Meiah wouldn’t have had to have her leg amputated had she been seen at Presbyterian sooner. The family is now suing Presbyterian Hospital, alleging medical malpractice, saying they acted “unreasonably” and did not give “timely” treatment.
“We’re gonna find out exactly why this happened and hopefully prevent something like this from happening to anyone else ever again,” said Attorney Todd Bullion, who represents the Sedillo family, along with Attorney Jason Bowles.
Nexstar’s KRQE reached out to Presbyterian Hospital for comment but did not hear back by publication time.
According to court documents, the hospital said it does not have enough information about the allegations. It states “all allegations of the complaint” are “not expressly admitted or denied.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the medical expenses. Despite the incident, Meiah said she tries to focus on the positives in her life. “It’s a little easy, a little hard. I’m going to get through it though,” she said.