Wells infant died from heart disorder, autopsy shows

WELLS, TX (KTRE) - A Wells baby who was dead for 15 hours before her parents called for emergency care died from pulmonary valve stenosis, according to an autopsy.

"When it is stenosised it meansit doesn't open so the heart has a real hard time pushing the blood out to thelungs to get oxygen," said Dr. Vivek Mangla, Cardiologist, Memorial Hospital.

Three months after the baby's death, an autopsy filed on May 29 describes how the three-day-old infant, Faith Pursley, suffered from difficulty in her mother getting her to nurse and from the fact the mother did not receive any prenatal care.

Local physicians not connected to the casetell us prenatal care is vital for a healthy newborn and prenatal screening canhelp identify infant risk before delivery.

"Its like walking around withyour eyes closed, you never know what is out there and you need to know everydetail about your baby," said Dr. Jeff Glass M.D., Children's ClinicLufkin.

"Prenatal screenings and fetalechocardiography are key to identify these infants at risk before and not getsurprised at the time of delivery," said Mangla.

Deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office began investigating the death in late May. The parents are part of a religious group which has a unit based in Wells.

According to a previous report, someone called 911 at 4 a.m. and said the baby had died at 1 p.m.

Deputies, EMS and investigators responded to the Wells Manor Apartments on Wright Patman Drive and found the infant in a bassinet next to the bed in the master bedroom of the apartment.

The mother, father and several adults who identified themselves as elders of the church were present and cooperated with investigators when they arrived.

"I believe in healing with all my heartbut I believe in using common sense too," said Kevin Poage, Pastor,Clawson Assembly of God.

Pastor Kevin Poage says various religiousdenominations have different beliefs on the use of doctors and medicine but hebelieves balance between prayer and medical expertise is critical foreveryone's health.

"There is nothing wrong withpraying in the hospital too, we do that all the time," said Poage.

According to medical websites, pulmonary valve stenosis is a disorder in which outflow of blood from the right ventricle of the heart is obstructed. The artery then carries oxygen-poor blood to the lungs.

Capt. John Raffield said he will meet with the district attorney's office to discuss what, if any, charges will be pursued against the parties involved.

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