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Settlement reached in dental case that left child brain damaged

HOUSTON – Navaeh Hall was a perfectly happy, healthy child.

"Nevaeh was smart. She enjoyed everything that every other 4-year-old would," said her mother, Clarissa Clark.

The 4-year-old girl went to Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson to have a tooth pulled at her Spring-area dentist office and that is when her health took a turn for the worst. 

Navaeh was given anesthesia, which caused her to have a seizure. She suffered severe brain damage and now uses a wheelchair.

"Nevaeh went a long time without oxygen, her heart rate was very high and then very low," Clark said. 

Navaeh parents filed a civil lawsuit with the Harris County District Clerk and Thursday both sides agreed to a settlement.

The suit alleged she was strapped to a "papoose board" and given large doses of anesthetic and sedatives. She began to seize and shake violently.

The suit said Jefferson ignored signs that her brain was suffering from a severe lack of oxygen. Criminal charges are now a possibility for Jefferson.

 The family now plans to file a lawsuit against a pharmacist, that the attorney claims, Jefferson called for advice.

"That baby was having severe brain damage. That pharmacist gave Dr Jefferson medical advice which he had no business giving and failed to advice Dr. Jefferson that she needed to immediately pick up the phone and call 911," attorney Jim Moriarty said.

As for Nevaeh, she still has a long road ahead of her.

"She's doing OK, I mean she still not very much progress but she's doing OK, she's alive," Clark said.

Jefferson is also no longer allowed to practice dentistry.

In 2016, the decision to revoke Jefferson’s license was unanimous by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.

Jefferson has a history of disciplinary action filed against her stretching back to 2005.

In 2012, the examiners board reprimanded her for failing to meet the standard of care in the sedation of another juvenile patient.