Arizona kid dies while in dentist appointment

Arizona kid dies while in dentist appointment

/ 04:13 PM January 05, 2018 Stock Photo

“Everything about him was just lovely,” Norma Yarrito remembered about his late 2-year-old grandson Zion Jay Gastelum.

The boy from Yuma, Arizona, died after he had undergone dental procedures, leaving unanswered questions for the family.


It was on Dec. 16 that Zion Jay Gastelum was dropped off by his parents at the Kool Smiles Dentist for a crown and filing appointment, KGUN 9 reported on Wednesday.

It was there that during the procedure, the dentist present noticed that the toddler stopped breathing. Gastelum was then rushed to the Yuma Regional Medical Center, then transferred to the Marina County, but died four days later.


Both the Yuma Fire and Police Department confirmed that they had asked the Kool Smiles Dentist for a “medical response” pertaining to Gastelum’s case.

Declining to comment, the dentistry office sent an e-mail to KGUN 9 saying they joined in mourning.

“Our dedicated dentists, anesthesiologists and the rest of our Kool Smiles family join the community to mourn this tragic loss,” the statement read.

Two-year-old Zion Gastelum died after he stopped breathing while in a dentist appointment.  Image: Screengrab from

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office has been handling the case, with the cause of Gastelum’s death still to be determined.

A GoFundMe Page, meanwhile, has been set up by Gastelum’s father, David, to cover for the toddler’s funeral expenses.

“I want them to know that when they take their kid to doctors or a dentist, they need to be present at all times,” Yarrito said. “Just love your kids with all your heart because you never know what’s going to happen.”  Katrina Hallare /ra



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