My life-changing experience at Antelope Valley Hospital/ Women and Infants Pavilion

By Kern County resident Ashley Fogle

[On March 16, 2013,] I had a life changing experience that will haunt me for the rest of my life – not only me, but my husband and children as well. I went into labor and had to call 911 to get to the [Antelope Valley] hospital.  I arrived at the hospital at 5 p.m., I was greeted by nurses asking how far along I was.

Unfortunately, at that time I had insurance out of Orange County, so I wasn’t able to see a doctor in the Antelope Valley (because no one would accept my insurance),  so I didn’t know how far along I was exactly.

I told [the AVH nurses] the situation and notified them that I had went to Palmdale Regional 10 days prior to this visit, so maybe [Palmdale Regional] had the information that was needed. Shortly after that, a nurse came back in the room where I was and started to feel my stomach for a heartbeat, never hooking me up to a fetal monitor. She decided to tell me she didn’t feel a heartbeat, so she called another nurse to assist her doing the same thing. Fortunately, the second nurse was able to get a heartbeat.

Two hours and 30 minutes into the visit, which is 7:30 p.m., I’m finally admitted into the hospital. Soon after, I was picked up by ultrasound. I asked the ultrasound tech if there was a heartbeat, and if I could see it. He showed me there was and it was strong. I then asked him if he thought my son had a chance to survive. He then told me ‘yes,’ but also told me he wasn’t supposed to give me his opinion. In just that moment, he made me feel secure. After the ultrasound, the tech took me back to my room.

Moments later, the doctor arrived and asked me what I thought was going to happen and what did the ultrasound tech tell me. I then told him that I thought that there was a chance to save [my baby]. The doctor then told me and my husband that whatever we thought was going to happen wasn’t; the doctor continued to tell us that not only was [our baby] going to be dead, he was also going to come out breached. As soon as he said that, my husband and I started to cry. That was the most heartbreaking experience I have ever had, and all I could think about was “why” for the entire time I was waiting to fully dilate.

At 10:22 p.m., my son was born. The doctor that I thought was going to deliver my son was nowhere to be seen. A nurse delivered [my son], and everything the doctor told me was a LIE. Not only was my son born head first, but he was ALIVE. I then asked the nurse if there was anything that they could do. They couldn’t answer my question. They then asked me and my husband if we wanted to hold him, and we did. It had reached 12 [a.m.], and they still didn’t treat my son. I finally decided to tell the nurse to take him to the NICU, hoping they would do something for him. I didn’t want my extremely premature infant to be cold in a janitor’s rag.

After that nurse left the room with my son, I never saw him again. The next time I would see my son was 31 days later in a urn.

I’m sure you’re thinking: “Thirty-one days later? WHAT?”

Yes, 31 days later… I had problems getting my son’s remains because the hospital tried to pass my son off as a still birth, when he was born ALIVE. So after that didn’t work for the mortuary or the health department, I discovered there was another problem. The doctor that was supposed to deliver [my son] was refusing to sign his death certificate. I called the hospital to tell them the situation, and one of the nurses got irate with me and I didn’t understand why. I was trying to explain to her that the information that she was giving them was incorrect. Since my son was born ALIVE, they would need a real reason for his death, like a heart attack or kidney failure.

Finally, a couple of days later, I get my son and his death certificate.  Not only did they lie about the time he passed, they also lied about what caused his death. It was not a heart attack, it was a lack of oxygen to the brain which caused a heart attack.


The nurse’s reason for not trying to save him was: “I’ve never seen a baby that small survive more than two hours…” The reason for not bringing my son to me after he passed was: “We are re-training staff on bringing babies back to the mothers after they pass away…”

As a mother or father, would that be enough for you? Nobody deserves to be treated this way! No one should ever have to experience this pain that will never go away. When my son died, a part of me did too and I will never have it back.

This incident took place March 16, 2013. I am 26 years old, and when this incident took place I was an Orange County resident. I filed a complaint, and I do plan on making it a legal matter due to the Infant Born Alive Protection Act.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The AV Times.

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  31 comments for “My life-changing experience at Antelope Valley Hospital/ Women and Infants Pavilion

  1. Maria paesano
    October 4, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Lots of sick things going on here all for the sake of big money…

    Please look at articles on china regarding baby trafficking
    Also sex trafficking, tourism, prostitution, nuclear power. Solar power etc. it is not a coincidence that these are the same issues of recent here in lancaster.

  2. rose
    September 23, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Sue the hospital its not the only thing they’ve done also community hospital did lots too..killed lots of babbies

  3. kim k
    August 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    that sounds like avh my friend delivered a baby there she was about 25 weeks they did not try to do a damm thing to save the baby the baby was born alive and on his birth ceertificate they said he was born dead, i delivered my daughter there while i was pushing a nurse came in and started arguing with the doctor so i was left there for a couple minutes then another doctor had to come and took over like really avh needs some improvement.

  4. just J
    August 20, 2013 at 6:23 am

    The only thing that troubles me, never mind… there’s many!. Ii know this for sure I’ve been in this valley over 30 years and my son was born at the pavilion, and only 2 weeks premi. I can’t count, nore can I begin to recall the countless stories about things going terribly wrong at A.V.H., some 100% true and cases
    Won against the hospital. The rest ….. HIGHLY matches there questionable track record, and u wanna hope these things can’t be happening. Not to say they haven’t saved countless, , just never heard of other facilities having the problems that they HAVE HAD!! and people here talking, some one the right path of the the problems, first very sorry for your loss! But here’s the over looked problems. Why question her experience, I didn’t doubt any of it, and if they don’t even make attempts to do there oaths to save or try because of a policy about 24 weeks, like, like its a legitimate full proof med law from the gods. Were all done for! They didn’t know how how far along she was 100% nor did she! Fact! Ultra sounds don’t pin point 100% day of a conception, just the guide for education guessing in a way. That being said what if this lil boy was actually at 24 week’s 1 day? Can’t prove either way and primarily on there part. So they should have taken full action based on no Med documentation onthe pregnancy and no concrete prof. Babby wasn’t far enough along, there for comon sense says take actions needed to try at the least! That alone is enough to go at them fully. And the compassity over limit they aree constantlly at, I know they easily could have left baby with mom for that inhuman amount of time.ethically wrong at all levels. I know a child born before 24. Weeks and was at or under a pound, so small he fit in the palm of your hand, so small a bit of blood take to run important test shortly after birth was too much for him andhe lost a few fingers over it, wasn’t enough in his system to keep the circulation up. He was In nicu for almost a year. BUT HE LIVES! because this wasn’t A.V. hospital and is almost an adult doing well. So if its broke! It needs to be fixed! And the decision makers…. shoud be held ressponseable and disbarred based off of the comon sense that even a Neanderthal would possess. I wouldn’t and couldn’t not do my all if in the situation based on the ” how could uyou not help act” no joke its highly believable and one of the many. To the original mom…. do what you feels right, no matter who says your wrong! Good lucck

    other that h

  5. Anonymous
    August 8, 2013 at 2:44 am

    I’m very sorry for your loss and for the confusion involved with your baby’s death. I have experience with this type of situations and let me assure you that if your baby had any chance of surviving, any hospital, wether or not you had insurance or an OB doctor, would be held accountable by law to assist your baby with life support. The criteria is established by a board of doctors (weight 500 gms or more and Gestational Age 24 weeks or more). That would’ve been established by the ultrasound. You stated that the tech told you your baby had a chance of survival. First of all, techs don’t get a full report of the patients situation when they receive an order because it is out of their scope of practice to provide any care or treatment besides an ultrasound. I can only figure that if the tech did say your baby had a chance, it was only based on his lack of information. You stated that the doctor said your baby was breech but you delivered vertex (head first). That is very common with extremely early babies because they are so small and change position frequently. The fact that your baby was born alive must be confusing to you because they didn’t do any resuscitation efforts. This is very common when the fetus has no chance of survival. Even though the fetus can live up to two hours after delivery, resuscitation is contraindicated related to poor prognosis. If your baby was less than 24 weeks, the damage caused by resuscitation outweighs the benefit. It is hard to understand when you have no medical background but it is better to let your baby pass away in peace than stick a tube in every orifice, needles everywhere and chest compressions because your baby is too small to survive. The lungs aren’t mature so all these efforts would be in vain. The death report is accurate because the cause of death is what happened at the time the heart stopped beating not the circumstances that lead up to it. I’m very sorry if things weren’t explained in terms that were clear for you to understand.

    • Ashley
      August 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      I’m sure your not familiar with the Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 passed by Congress this is a Federal Law I suggest you look it up and then give your opinion before you pass judgement PLEASE EDUCATED YOURSELF

      • Anonymous
        August 13, 2013 at 11:45 pm

        Please educate* yourself on viability. A fetus can’t survive before 24 weeks gestation. There have been 2 documented cases where 21 weeks and 5/7 and 6/7 days fetuses survived but they were conceived with IVF (which equals to 24 weeks gestational age in natural conception). Instead of pointing fingers, we should help this grieving mother understand that her baby wasn’t murdered by AVH employees. It was born too early to survive outside the womb. If this “born alive act” is enforced, we will waste valuable resources to try to keep babies alive that will not survive despite the efforts. For what? To prolong their suffering? To give the parents false hope? Do some research on it and you will realize that this act isn’t applied in any L&D unit in CA. L&D generally doesn’t even treat pregnant patients under 20 weeks, they’re sent to the ER.

        • Desire
          August 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm

          I forgot to say that my daughter was born at 23 weeks and 2 days and she is a wonderful baby. So for everyone that keeps posting things about children suffering that is born before 24 weeks gestation need not try to give this young woman any more grief that she is already suffering with. I absolutely believe what she is saying about what happened to her at av hospital and I am sure that while some people have had great experiences with av hospital. I am sure there are many others that have not had great experience with the hospital and the way the employees handle situations like these. I think there needs to be more research involved in studying how a baby can survive born before 24 weeks gestation because I will say it once again my daughter is living proof that these babies can strive to make it with the right amount of care.

        • Sue
          August 15, 2013 at 4:09 pm

          I’m tired of your ignorance, anonymous. You are not God. I’m sorry for your great loss, little mama – I highly recommend you take the case to R. Rex Parris. He’s been around for many years and is an excellent attorney. If he’s too booked, he will hook you up with someone who is just as good as he. Good luck, honey.

          • Anonymous
            August 15, 2013 at 11:43 pm

            You are all talking about babies born at almost 24 weeks not 19 weeks! HUGE difference.

    • Desire
      August 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      At Ashley honey I just read your story last night and I felt a deep connection with your story I am so sorry for your lost. I Would like to say to you and the person who posted anonymous. That it is not true what doctors say about a baby being born before 24 weeks gestation not having a chance to live. I will say that in December I also had a bad experience with av hospital that will always stay with me 4 ever. But I will tell you this my daughter was born in January 2013 at 470 grams which is under a pound doctors at av also told me my baby would not survive because they dont save babies born before 24 weeks gestation. But my daughter is living proof that those studies are not 100 percent accurate. My daughter is now 7 months old she spent 6 months in nicu and she is a beautiful baby girl that is striving to make it without having any major health problems. I would like to share more of my story with you Ashley. And to the non believers of my story. I will say God is good

      • Desire
        August 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        I forgot to say that my daughter was born at 23 weeks and 2 days and she is a wonderful baby. So for everyone that keeps posting things about children suffering that is born before 24 weeks gestation need not try to give this young woman any more grief that she is already suffering with. I absolutely believe what she is saying about what happened to her at av hospital and I am sure that while some people have had great experiences with av hospital. I am sure there are many others that have not had great experience with the hospital and the way the employees handle situations like these. I think there needs to be more research involved in studying how a baby can survive born before 24 weeks gestation because I will say it once again my daughter is living proof that these babies can strive to make it with the right amount of care.

    • Sue
      August 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Anonymous, just an FYI – when the “fetus” is born – has come out of the mother and breathes air – it is no longer a fetus – it is a BABY! And who is anyone besides God to decide whether a BABY should live or die? The professionals’ job is to do everything they can to help a LIVE HUMAN BEING in a life or death situation and let God do the rest. There was a conscious and horrible failure on the side of the personnel. You can’t explain that away to a mother who lost her child because hospital personnel, who could’ve saved her baby, stood around waiting for the BABY to die. I just read another article in here where a mother gave birth to a beautiful little girl – UNDER 23 weeks – at a little over 1 pound. There is nothing in this world that can satisfy a lack of caring and helpfulness on the part of people who COULD HAVE been a vehicle in saving this BABY’S life. BABY! Not FETUS, but BABY!

  6. anonymous
    August 2, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I know this girl and her story and her son actually lived at least 2 hours after he was born with photos to prove it. He was also still alive when the nurse took him out of the room and after that there is no telling how long he lived. Only god and the staff of WIP know the answer to that. And what the hospital did was very wrong he was born alive but they did not a single thing to try to KEEP him alive.

  7. theresa little
    July 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    AV Hospital is a complete joke! Years ago, I knew a 31 year old young man who’d been taken into the ER with a head injury. Specifically, a stab wound by a screwdriver. At first, the “doctors” said. ” That they would be getting him ready for emergency surgery.” When the well-known resident neurologist showed up… there was a sudden change in plans. We were told there was nothing they could do to save his life. That he had bleeding inside his brain and it would soon cause too much pressure which would turn his brain to “mush”. “However, he’s young and as an organ donator could help someone else.” It took more than 2 days of him laying there before they insisted on taking him off life support. My unanswered questions were why didn’t they even try to stop the bleeding? He could not have been bleeding that badly if it took more than the 2 days? I always heard that if you have a puncture wound and pressure to the brain your brain would be pushed out of the wound? This was not the case. This same “surgeon” also made remarks about the patient’s ethnicity. “Unfortunately, sometimes, these kind of people get too much alcohol in them and this sort of thing is the outcome.” Reyes Martinez was Mexican, here legally! He was stabbed in the side of the head by an unknown assailant, who was never captured. He was the father of my son and loved by many other family members and friends. But, he did not have any medical insurance! “If, he even survived a surgery, he would probably need long term care. And quite possibly, be in a vegetative state”. I am convinced that it was all about the money/insurance! As, I sat there in the hospital room talking to him, tears came down the right side of his face!”They” told me it was due to involuntary reflexes. When something like this happens to a family they are in shock, not thinking clearly, and it’s hard to make any decisions. We had no other alternatives, other than, to trust what that doctor told us. I wish I knew then, what I know now! Ms Fogle, do some research, find yourself a great attorney and sue them! I hope that your baby had an autopsy… The hospital should have had one since the baby was born alive and they should have had an accurate time of death? Why did the Dr. hesitate to sign the death certificate? Who was with your baby when he passed? Too many unanswered questions… Please do yourself a favor and demand to know what exactly happened! They also created many problems regarding my mother’s health and untimely death. She only had Medi-cal for insurance and was treated worse than most sick farm animals. If, I had it to do all over again, I would have sued. Time is of the upmost importance! I wish you and your family well. Blessings…

    • Letlow
      July 30, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Oh man! This is a really sad story. My condolences on the loss of your son’s father, I really feel for you. No one should have to go through that! I am praying that this is not a pattern with AVH, hearing too many negative things lately.

  8. Karemtilt@Gmail
    July 30, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Both my granddaughters were born at AV, the first one was premature and the in NIC, AV hospital saved her life and my daughters, in my second one was born and then readmitted to the main hospital. I’m really sorry for what happened, when you went to palmdale what orders did they give u?

  9. Rooney
    July 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    I am very sorry for your loss. A lot of pre term babies don’t make it for many different reasons. Your little boy is in a much better place now.

    I agree the AV hospital is very negligent (I’ve known some horror stories from careless care). I hope I’m never in a position to have to go there.

    Your insurance from OC would cover you but you’d have to pay a co=pay. I agree with everyone else that there are parts in this puzzle missing. You must let it go or you’ll drive yourself crazy. Peace be with you.

  10. Sarah
    July 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I also had a horrible experience at that hospital… I had my first daughter there and they were awful treated me like [removed].. My nurse was very rude and gave me so much pitocin that I dilated to fast and my cervix tore I was bleeding alot and a couple hundred stitches in my cervix… I think this is a terrible hospital…

  11. Heather
    July 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    A lot doesn’t add up, but I’m sorry for your loss and your horrible experience.

    I have had amazing experiences at the WIP with all 4 of my babies and even at the Pedis unit when my newborn got sick.

  12. Memememe
    July 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I too am confused about you not knowing even somewhat how far along you were. Something is not adding up however I am sorry for your loss.

    • Sue
      August 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      If a person hasn’t been to a doctor to determine how far along they are, then there should be no confusion –

  13. Confused
    July 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    This story makes no sense to me. You did not state how far along you were. You did not have the slightest idea? You had zero care throughout the whole pregnancy? Who was the doctor? Something is missing to this story. I am very sorry for your loss.

    • Letlow
      July 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      I too am sorry for this heartbreaking loss. But I can’t help but agree that some prenatal care was needed and you had the AVH hospital flying blind by not knowing how far along you were in your pregnancy. Seems like you are still hurting over your loss and looking to blame someone though. You should let it go and pray on it. I’m sure no one intentionally meant to harm your newborn. All this negative energy is probably eating you up. I do not believe you can win in any legal action. It will just bring you more heartache and pain.

      • Sue
        August 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        If trained medical personnel are flying blind, then they need to go find a better education. They are there because they allegedly know what they’re doing, pre-care or not. I was born in the days where they didn’t have prenatal care – and those doctors weren’t flying blind. If the quality of education has gone down THAT MUCH since my birth, then they shouldn’t be allowed to practice, and I truly do pity the victims – in this case, it was a young mother.

    • July 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      I am also sorry for your loss but something about this story seems wrong – Orange County is a metrolink trip away – why not go there to see a doctor if that’s where the insurance is?

      They wrapped your baby in a “janitor’s rag”?? I don’t understand that part of the story either.

      Was the baby born so prematurely that there was no chance of survival?

      If I was a betting man, I would bet that the story here is that the baby died very soon after birth and the shock and mental anguish of going through all that is altering your view of what happened. I can’t imagine a live premature baby being left in its mothers arms for an hour and a half while they just sit around waiting for it to die.

      I hope you had a camera phone with you at the time to record video if that’s what really happened.

      • Confused
        July 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm

        I agree completely. Prenatal care is extremely important and if you were insured in OC you could have just taken the train there once a month. Also, I’ve never heard of insurance companies only covering in certain cities. There are many OB/GYN practices in the Antelope Valley and I highly doubt that none would take your insurance. I had two of my three children at the WIP and have had nothing but excellent care from all the staff. It baffles me to read that they left you alone with a severely premature baby for hours.

        • Sue
          August 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm

          Just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen to her. Really? Why the feeding frenzy on a mother who just lost her child due to negligence of trained medical personnel?

      • Sue
        August 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm

        Are you saying that it’s feasible to take the MetroLink to OC (about 4 or more hours away if riding the MetroLink), when you’re having a pregnancy-related medical emergency? You must’ve read the story wrong – the baby was alive for 2 hours – not an hour and a half. Don’t you know that it’s real insensitive to speak like that to a mother who just lost her child? Go take some sensitivity classes.

      • AVcares
        August 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm

        I agree, something is not right…Hopefully the right people will be looking into this….

        • AVcares
          August 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm

          AVcares comment was in reply to..

          SAMMY P on July 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Comments are closed.