When Jennifer Melton and her partner took their newborn son, Nate, in for a routine physical at University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tennessee, they expected just that — a routine checkup. But when a nurse brought their baby back to them a few hours later, they were shocked to hear what a doctor had done to him.
“At that point the nurse started to mention the procedure they had done,” Melton told WTVF. The nurse went on to explain that a surgeon had cut the flap of skin beneath Nate’s tongue — a surgery he didn’t need. In fact, it had been meant for another baby.
“Essentially they took our child who was healthy from the room and cut his mouth,” Melton said. “At that point I began to cry hysterically.”
The doctor who performed the procedure admitted he’d made a mistake. “I had asked for the wrong infant. I had likely performed the procedure on an infant different than the one I intended to … and I admitted my mistake and apologized,” he wrote in a progress report.
Now Nate’s parents are worried about how this will affect their son’s development later down the road.
“There is no excuse on operating on the wrong baby, none,” Melton’s attorney, Clint Kelly said. “We don’t know if the child will have speech problems or eating problems.”
University Medical Center released the following statement regarding the incident:
“We can confirm that we take seriously any concerns brought to our attention, and those matters are reviewed pursuant to the hospital’s medical staff by-laws. If made aware of a concern, we promptly seek to address it and take action as appropriate to prevent any future concerns.”
Learn more about what happened to baby Nate in the video below.