- Sylvania Watkins recalled receiving the newborn’s body and realizing that the first ‘red flag’ was that it had come from the Riverdale hospital in such condition
- Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr died in childbirth on July 9 during a botched delivery
A funeral home owner said that a baby who was decapitated during birth at a hospital in Georgia was taken straight there and officials did not report his death to a medical examiner.
Sylvania Watkins, the manager of Watkins Funeral Home, recalled receiving the newborn’s body and realizing that the first ‘red flag’ was that it had come from Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale in such condition.
Little Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr died in childbirth on July 9 during a botched delivery. His body and legs were delivered by C-section – and three-and-a-half hours later at 12.11am, and his head was delivered vaginally.
His mother Jessica Ross, 20, and her partner Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr. say they were only informed their dead newborn’s head was decapitated at the funeral home.
Clayton County Medical Examiner confirmed to DailyMail.com that it was the funeral home, not the hospital, who first informed them of the deceased newborn’s state.
The hospital should have contacted the examiner immediately after the child was pronounced dead, according to protocol. The Medical Examiner took custody of the baby’s body from Watkins, and only then was an autopsy performed.
Sylvania Watkins, the manager of Watkins Funeral Home, recalled receiving the newborn’s body and realizing that the first ‘red flag’ was that it had come from Riverdale hospital in such condition
His mother Jessica Ross, 20, and her partner Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr. say they were only informed their dead newborn’s head was decapitated at the funeral home. They are pictured on Wednesday at a press conference
Mother Ross was holding back her tears standing by her partner’s side
The dad Taylor briefly spoke at a press conference today, saying: ‘We want justice for our son. They lied to us.’ Ross was holding back her tears standing by his side.
One of their lawyers added: ‘It’s been tough on the whole family. They have been strong and resilient.’
They allege that the baby’s neck was broken while the doctor was applying excessive traction, before denying the parents to touch their deceased child. The family’s legal team are working to depose everyone in the room at the time of the birth.
Taylor wiped his partner’s tears as their lawyer said this on Wednesday.
Sylvania Watkins, who has worked in the industry for over four decades, told WSBTV: ‘This is my first time witnessing anything of this nature.
‘After we retrieved the body from Southern Regional, I was called downstairs to come and see what they had brought back from the hospital and that’s when I noticed the baby’s head was not attached to the body.
‘This is what raised the red flag, to receive this baby from the hospital with that condition, that was the first red flag.
‘Actually, this baby should’ve come from the medical examiner from the jump, so that’s how I ended up calling the medical examiner to see if it was reported.
‘Having to deal with the mother and father was even more disturbing because I was the one who had to share this news with them.’
On Tuesday, the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office said Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr’s death was caused by the ‘actions of another person.’
The baby suffered ‘fracture dislocation with complete transection (to the) upper cervical spine and spinal cord’, according to an autopsy report obtained by Atlanta New First.
His death was caused by shoulder dystocia, arrest of labor and fetal entrapment in the birth canal. Pregnancy-induced diabetes and premature rupture of membranes also contributed, per the report.
While no medical professional have been criminally charged, the baby’s parents are pursuing lawsuits against Southern Regional Medical Center, as well as ob-gyn Dr. Tracey St. Julian and pathologist Dr. Jackson Gates.
Their nightmare began on July 9 when mom Jessica Ross, 20, arrived at the Riverdale hospital with her partner Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr. to give birth.
Ross began experiencing complications when her baby boy’s shoulders got stuck during a vaginal delivery which began 8.40pm, according to the suit.
The death of Jessica Ross’ and Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr.’s baby, Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr., who was decapitated during birth, has been ruled a homicide by Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office
Ross and Taylor Sr. claim Southern Regional Medical Center tried to to cover up what happened by discouraging them from getting an autopsy and encouraging them to have their son cremated
Dr. St. Julian is accused of delaying a C-section procedure and failing to seek help quickly. Instead, she applied ‘ridiculously excessive force’ on the baby’s head and neck to try to deliver it while Ross was still awake, claims attorney and physician Roderick Edmond.
When Ross and Taylor demanded to see and hold their child, they claim the baby was tightly wrapped in a blanket with his head ‘propped on top of his body’ to make it appear like it was still attached.
They ultimately found out about the decapitation from the funeral home, they claim.
The lawsuit claims Dr. St. Julian did not tell Ross and her family about the decapitation when she spoke to them around 5 a.m. on July 10.
The grieving couple has accused the hospital of trying to cover up what happened by discouraging them from getting an autopsy and encouraging them to have their son cremated.
The hospital staff also allegedly lied to the couple and said that a free autopsy was not an option for them considering the circumstances.
They claim the situation only came to light after a whistleblower at the Willie A Watkins funeral home became concerned at the state of the body.
While criminal charges are yet to be filed, the parents filed civil lawsuits against Dr. Tracey St. Julian (left) who they accuse of delaying a C-section procedure and failing to seek help quickly and Dr. Jackson Gates, who they allege posted graphic pictures of their baby’s autopsy online
The couple’s nightmare began when their baby boy’s shoulders got stuck during a delivery which began 8.40pm, according to the suit. Dr. St. Julian is accused of applying ‘ridiculously excessive force’ on the baby’s head and neck to try to deliver it while Ross was still awake
The hospital, however, claim that they told the couple about the decapitation on July 13 – days afterwards – and said that they voluntarily reported the death to the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office.
According to Watkins at the funeral home, he was the first person to inform the medical examiner and the parents.
The couple are also suing independent pathologist Dr. Jackson Gates who they claim posted graphic images of the infant’s autopsy.
The suit accuses Gates of taking $2,500 for the autopsy before posting identifying videos and photos on Instagram where he often shares his work for public health purposes.
The couple say they awoke on July 14 to see Gates had recorded videos of the baby’s autopsy and then posted them on his public account for the world to see.
The suit claims: ‘This video showed in graphic and grisly detail a postmortem examination of the decapitated, severed head of Baby Isaiah.’
It further alleges that after the clip was removed, Gates posted two more videos of the baby’s autopsy exactly a week later – ones that graphically depicted the baby’s head, body, brain, and even organs.
Southern Regional said in statements at the time it could not discuss treatment for particular patients due to privacy laws, but it denies the allegations against it.
Its ‘heartfelt thoughts and prayers’ were with Ross and Taylor and their care providers, it said.
‘Our commitment is to provide compassionate, quality care to every single patient, and this loss is heartbreaking,’ the hospital said.
It later added that St. Julian was not an employee of the hospital, and it had ‘taken the appropriate steps in response to this unfortunate situation.’
On Tuesday a spokeswoman said the hospital could not comment ‘due to ongoing litigation.
Ross and Taylor’s lawyer said: ‘After suffering one of the most heartbreaking losses any family could ever endure, Jessica Ross and Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Jr. had salt poured into their unfathomable emotional wounds when they discovered that video of their baby’s very graphic medical examination had been made public by the very doctor they entrusted to conduct the autopsy.
‘This is one of the most egregious and outrageous cases of ‘clout chasing’ we have ever encountered.
‘Dr. Jackson Gates attempted to exploit our clients’ horrific loss to boost his own social media profile without permission of the family.
‘We intend to ensure that Dr. Gates is held accountable for this unbelievable invasion of our clients’ privacy.
‘We have also reported this incident to the medical examiner’s board for their investigation.’