Girl's Death Hastened by Fear of Dentists
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2009 9:34 PM CST
A dental appointment.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A British girl who died in 2005 from dehydration and starvation suffered from a severe fear of dentists that kept her from eating, the BBC reports. Sophie Waller was in and out of the hospital after she refused to eat when teeth came lose, but medical professionals mislaid her case. The child, who appeared to be recovering after the teeth were pulled, never received a follow-up examination and died at home.

The hospital apologized to the girl’s family after an inquest made clear the facts of the case. “Everyone involved in Sophie's care was saddened by her tragic death. We would like to apologize to her family,” a hospital official said. “This was a very unusual case. We have conducted a review of her care and are carrying out recommendations.” Before leaving the hospital, Waller’s fear was so great she had to be fed by tube.