A mother claims that a hospital in Los Angeles swapped their healthy newborn with a sickly baby who tragically passed away only days later.
Mario Barrales and Guadalupe Velez say that LAC-USC Medical Center swapped their baby girl Yarithzel Barrales with a sickly child when Velez gave birth in 2018.
They are now fighting to prove that their daughter is still alive but being raised by someone else.
The couple said that their daughter was in good health despite being born prematurely. But when the baby was taken out of the room, the couple said that a hospital staff switched her daughter for a sickly infant who was born with a brain malformation and lung abnormality.
They said that the ‘imposter’ baby passed away only five days later.
“The changed the girls, they gave us another baby. I’m not ok, I want to know what happened,” Velez said.
The parents, who also have two daughters, said they noticed differences between ‘their’ baby and the ‘imposter’ child immediately, including different body shapes, belly buttons, and skin tones.
They also noticed that the identification numbers on the mother and baby’s registration bracelets were different.
“The changed the girls, they gave us another baby,’ Vélez said. ‘I’m not ok, I want to know what happened,” Velez expressed.
The couple became suspicious after relatives who arrived to visit her were sent to a wrong room – the room of another mother also named Guadalupe.
Velez said that she was offered a respirator because she’s asthmatic, which she’s not, and was told that her baby was sick because she is a drug user, which is also not true.
The parents believe that their baby may have been given to the other Guadalupe.
“Maybe my daughter was given to her and her daughter was given to me,” Vélez said. “I have a feeling that she is alive and I need to find answers.”
Velez also provided documents that verify that she gave birth to Yarithzel – who weighed only 5.9 pounds and did not present any complications at birth. She also has photos of her baby and the other child.
Velez said that the baby was taken to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where she was diagnosed with a congenital cardiovascular problem, brain malformation, digestive system failure, and lung abnormality – which they blamed on the mother’s use of drugs. The child passed away five days later.
Velez insists that she has never used drugs.
The couple said that they did not file a complaint at the hospital as they felt dismissed because they do not speak English.
“I don’t want money, I want justice,” Barreles said. “If this was a nurse’s mistake, they didn’t know how much pain they were going to cause us… it’s hell.”
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