Baby Suffers Severe Brain Damage After Failed Breech Delivery by Midwife

Baby Suffers Severe Brain Damage After Failed Breech Delivery by Midwife February 22, 2019

A newborn in Florida is fighting for his life after a midwife attempted a failed breech delivery. Brenden Fisher was born with an Apgar of 0 and suffered severe swelling in his brain. An investigation into the medical records of his mother, Paris, show that her midwife made critical mistakes that resulted in his injuries.

According to a report by the Herald Tribune, Paris Fisher checked into Rosemary Birthing Home late in January to deliver her baby. On the day of her delivery, she had no idea her baby was in a breech position.

Records obtained by the Herald-Tribune indicate that Paris’ midwife Jordan Shockley the baby’s position was not checked. According to her notes, she only realized the baby was in a breech position after she broke the mother’s water.

Shockley’s note indicates that after she broke the mother’s water, she immediately told Paris that she needed to be transferred to the hospital. Then the midwife says that Paris refused her request to transfer.

Finally, the notes state she made an emergent call to 911 and requested immediate transfer to the hospital.

However, the midwife’s notes contradict the story Paris told the Herald Tribune. Paris says that after she learned the baby was in a breech position, she became scared and agreed to go to the hospital.

Instead of Shockley calling 911, Paris said the midwife called someone else. After Shockley hung up the phone, she called 911.

The 911  call obtained by the Herald-Tribune contradict an “emergent” call by the midwife. In fact, Shockley sounds calm and insists the baby and mother are stable.

Dispatch told the midwife to wait for first responders before attempting to deliver the baby. However, Paris said that her midwife told her to push and wanted to deliver the baby.

When EMS arrived, they asked the midwife not to deliver the baby. Yet, the midwife continued to have Paris push. Shockley delivered the legs and arms of the baby. Records indicate that meconium covered Brenden’s legs.

By the time EMS loaded the mother on a stretcher, the head of the baby remained stuck inside the birth canal.

Rather than the father going with the mother to the hospital, the midwife got in the ambulance with her. Florida law prohibits midwives that deliver at homes and birthing centers from being a part of medical deliveries. Shockley disregarded the law and went anyway.

While in the ambulance, paramedics noticed the umbilical cord stopped pulsing. Realizing the blood flow had been cut off from the baby, they immediately began chest compressions.

When the ambulance arrived at the hospital, doctors took Paris and rushed to save the baby. To remove the lodged infant from her pubic bone, doctors performed an episiotomy. Once the doctors had the space they needed, they delivered the baby vaginally. Unfortunately, the baby boy was limp and unresponsive.

A hospital spokeswoman, who had permission to speak to the Tribune, said in an email that the baby was in cardiac and respiratory failure.  The baby’s Apgar score at birth was 0. Through rescue efforts, the baby started breathing, but his Apgar score was only 3.

Critically ill, doctors placed Brenden on life support. Scans indicated he had severe swelling in the brain and tests showed no brain activity.

After a traumatic delivery, Paris learned her baby might not survive through the night.  A medic helicopter took the baby to a pediatric hospital with a NICU to care for the baby.

Despite the horrible outcome, Paris and her husband say that the midwife seems to take no responsibility for her role. Medical records she provided the Tribune show the midwife made numerous errors and attempted to alter Paris’ due date.

Florida regulations require midwives refer all patients that are between 41-42 weeks to a physician. Instead of referring Paris to a doctor, Shockley changed her due date to nine days later than her original date.

Additionally, Florida regulations require midwives to perform a vaginal assessment at the onset of labor to determine fetal position.  Shockley’s notes indicate she never completed the exam.

When Shockley found the baby in a breech position, Florida regulations require she consult with a transferring physician. However, Shockley spoke with no doctors and attempted the delivery on her own.

In her notes, she said the mother refused to transfer to the hospital, but Paris denies she declined the transfer.

According to a state licensing search, Shockley received her midwife license in November. During the months she was not licensed, she was supposed to have a licensed midwife with her at all appointments and deliveries. However, Paris said the midwife was always alone at all of her appointments.

Shockley broke many rules, and Rosemary Birthing Home allowed her to see clients without a license. When the Herald-Tribune requested a comment from Shockley, she declined to make a statement.

Despite the glaring mistakes, the midwife is still practicing. Additionally, Rosemary Birthing Home continues to deliver babies. Rosemary Birthing Home has a history of delivering baby’s that have poor outcomes. Substandard care by midwives at Rosemary have resulted in the deaths of multiple infants.

Paris and Jason Fisher are left to pick up the pieces of the midwife’s incompetence. Their son Brendan has regained some brain function. But his prognosis is still unknown. Brendan has significant brain damage. If he survives,  he will need a lifetime of care.

How many more babies need to die or become permanently disabled before the state intervenes?

Jordan Shockley’s license needs to be revoked, and she should be charged with negligence and manslaughter.

Come on, Florida lawmakers,  do the right thing.

If you wish to help the family with unexpected medical expenses, please donate to their GoFundMe.


*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

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