Heartbreaking Details About What Happened When New Mom Accidentally Smothered Baby After Falling Asleep Breastfeeding In Hospital

She filed an $8.6 million lawsuit against the hospital.

Heartbreaking Details About What Happened When New Mom Accidentally Smothered Baby After Falling Asleep Breastfeeding In Hospital Getty Images

Just three days after Jacob Thompson was born, he suffocated and was left with severe, permanent brain damage. All while under the supervision of hospital staff and in the arms of his mother. 

Monica Thompson, 42, gave birth to a healthy baby boy via C-section on Aug. 2 in 2012. For the three days that followed her delivery, she was put on heavy medication to recover. She says that night, in particular, she was given a combination of narcotic painkillers and sleep aids to help her sleep while her son was under the care of nurses.


At 3 a.m., one of those nurses, who currently isn't being named, brought the newborn into Monica's room to be breastfed. Mom and baby were left unattended. 

About an hour later, Monica — who says she was still groggy and drowsy — noticed her son was unresponsive. She tried to wake him up while calling for a nurse for help. When no one responded, she carried her baby out into the hospital corridor and yelled for assistance. A nurse saw her and called a Code Blue because Jacob was not breathing. 

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Doctors took Jacob away, and Monica was told to return to her room and wait for news. 


Though Jacob was stabilized, he never regained consciousness and put on life support in the neonatal intensive care unit. There, doctors said he had suffered severe hypoxia, which is a lack of oxygen to the body's tissue. They told Jacob's parents that his brain was severely and permanently damaged. 

So, when he was just 10 days old, they made the decision to turn off his life support. 

Now, five years later and the mother of a healthy toddler, Monica is seeking justice for herself — and for Jacob. She's suing the hospital for $8 million dollars. 

According to her lawyer, she is accusing the staff of being negligent for not only giving her such strong medication when she was going to have to breast feed him, but also for leaving her alone with him while she was in such a drowsy state and not checking on them for a whole hour. 


"Jacob suffocated under his mother while she was under the influence of narcotics and sleep aids," her lawsuit reads. "His inability to breathe caused him desperation and anxiety. His breathing eventually stopped. His pulse was weak or absent."

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The suit also says that when the doctors performed CPR on Jacob, they broke his ribs which can "cause substantial pain." 


Because of that, Monica believes the hospital owes his estate $3 million in damages, and she is owed an additional $8 million for the severe emotional distress, severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety and prolonged grief disorder the incident caused her. She's also asking for another $100,000 for medical and counseling expenses. 

The hospital, Portland Adventist Medical Center, hasn't made a public comment. 

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Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor living in California. She covers all things news, pop culture, true crime.
Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on  August 7, 2017 and was updated with the latest information.