Silent protesters gathered Friday morning in front of a doctor's Port Neches office. The group wants to show support for the family of baby Olivia Coats.
Olivia died on January 1, 2014. Her parents said her death is the result of a fractured skull and severed spinal cord she received when Dr. George Backardjiev used forceps during an attempted assisted vaginal birth. Olivia was eventually delivered by an emergency C-Section. She was quickly taken to Houston's Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital where she died.
The protest was held in front of Dr. Backardjiev's office. 12News reached out to Dr. Backardjev, but have not yet heard back.
12News spoke with her parents, Rachel Melancon and Allen Coats shortly after her death.
Coats and Melancon decided to take action in the hopes that no parents have to go through the heart break that they have. The couple hopes to find a way to get lawmakers to pass "Olivia's Law" that would ban forceps from deliveries.
The couple launched a Facebook campaign to stop the use of forceps in all births.
Angie Coats, the baby's grandmother, said in a file interview that the young parents were devastated by the loss. She said the parents had repeatedly asked the doctor to perform a cesarean in advance of the Christmas Day due date because of the large size of the baby, but the doctor refused.
"Rachel had a normal, healthy pregnancy and the day she went in to see if she could be induced, it was already after Christmas," she told ABCNews.com. "The baby was so gigantic inside of her. She asked, 'Can you please give me a C-section? This baby isn't coming out of me.'"
Olivia weighed 7 pounds, 14.9 ounces and 22 inches long at birth.
Angie Coats, 43, of Bridge City, Texas, said her daughter-in-law was "itty bitty" -- 4-feet-11 and 95 pounds -- before she was pregnant.
"[Backardjiev] said, 'No, you don't want a C-section. You'll have a scar," said Coats, who was present at the birth. "During her delivery, the baby's heart rate kept going up. He said, 'One more hour, one more hour.' Her water broke, but it was 18 hours until the delivery. [Rachel] was running a 103 fever... Five hours passed, then he came in and she started to push. But she was so worn out and the baby wasn't even in the birth canal."
Coats alleges that the baby was face up and Backardjiev tried unsuccessfully to turn her with his hands.
"When he couldn't do that, he took the small forceps to try to pull the baby out. He kept going and even put his foot up on the bed trying to pull," she said. "He was turning and twisting and she would never come out. He put the forceps one way and the other. When he touched the top and side of the skull, we heard a pop, like clay cracking in pottery and heard her skull crush."
Olivia was ultimately delivered by emergency C-section, according to the family, but they allege it was too late. "My son said, 'I don't think my baby is alive.' She was not breathing and she never cried," said Angie Coats.
She said the medical staff told the family the baby was alive and would be transferred to Hermann Hospital.
But once the family arrived at Hermann, they allege that doctors told them Olivia was not breathing on her own and had suffered "numerous skull fractures."
Olivia's parents decided to donate the baby's heart valve to save another baby and her tissue behind her legs and knees was donated for skin grafts. "Something good will come of this," said Coats.
"They are doing great," she said of her son and his wife. "I have never seen so much strength and courage in two people in my whole life. All I hear is they want to help someone else. They want to help other parents and make sure this never happens again."
- 12/31/2014 Parents hope new law will prevent future tragedy, infant removed from life support
- 1/1/2014 Baby Olivia pulled off life support, dies from injuries parents say she received at birth
- 1/2/2014 Staff of doctor who delivered baby Olivia responds to death of infant
- 1/4/2014 Baby Olivia laid to rest
- 1/6/2014 Olivia Coat's family considers legal action against doctor
- 1/8/2014 "I heard a crackling noise": Parents of baby Olivia speak out about delivery
- 1/26/2014 Community rallies around Baby Olivia