Baby Olivia pulled off life support, dies from injuries - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

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Baby Olivia pulled off life support, dies from injuries parents say she received at birth


A newborn who was born brain dead after suffering a fractured skull and severed spinal chord died in a Houston hospital Wednesday after being taken off of life support.

Olivia Marie Coats was born Dec. 28 at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas in Port Arthur.

Her parents blame the injuries on the use of 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.

A family spokesperson told 12News of Coats' death, saying she was pulled off life support at about 3 p.m. and that she died shortly after 5 p.m.

Her parents, Rachel Melancon and Allen Coats have kept family and friends abreast of their baby's status over a Facebook page they created for their daughter on the day she was born. The page has already amassed over 12,000 followers.

Olivia Coats' situation has given rise to an effort to create a law that would restrict or outright ban the use of forceps in delivering babies. 

"The next thing we know the baby's daddy is coming out saying my baby's dead," said family friend Cinda Castle, speaking on behalf of the family.

Castle was heavily involved with the baby's parents during Melancon's nine-month pregnancy, which she says was a healthy one.

"Perfectly healthy beautiful baby girl...to lifeless," said Castle.

The use of forceps in an assisted vaginal birth is rare. They are used in about one percent of births in the United States

The CEO of the Medical Center of Southeast Texas says the hospital cannot comment on Olivia's case because of federal medical privacy laws.

Olivia's parents say they want their daughter to have a legacy and see 'The Olivia Law'  as a way in which others can learn from their daughter's story.

Olivia's parents have released separate statements about their daughter saying they hope to change the world with Olivia's story, and make sure what happened to her will never happen to anyone else.

A family friend chosen to speak for the family told 12News that Olivia's heart valves and skin tissue will be donated.

12News spoke to Olivia's grandmother Wednesday morning who is asking for anyone with Christmas lights still up to light them Wednesday night in honor of Olivia. 

Funeral arrangements are pending at Broussard's Mortuary in Nederland.

An account for the family, to help with funeral expenses, has been set up at 5 Point Credit Union. The account number is 8765877.

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