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Family of Demi Dominguez continue to seek justice and reform

Demi Dominguez pictured at her graduation ceremony. Photo provided by the family.{ }
Demi Dominguez pictured at her graduation ceremony. Photo provided by the family.
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A local family is planning to ask the medical board to revoke the license of a Bakersfield doctor. They say he is responsible for the death of their daughter and her newborn child.

In the two years since her death— the family says they've found multiple instances where the doctor was put on workplace probation.

Tracy Dominguez, Demi Dominguez’s mother, says, "How is that possible to have a doctor at the hospital that's harmed many women."

Nearly two years ago, 23-year-old Demi Dominguez lost her life days after visiting Mercy Hospital Southwest.

Dr. Arthur Park was the obstetrician on-call at the time.

Monique Himes, Demi Dominguez’s mother-in-law, says, "He was very dismissive, rushed he didn't talk about the hospital visit or the hospital notes, any recommendations—he just examined her and asked her how she was feeling.” Himes continues to describe the visit with her OBGYN, “She explained her symptoms and how she was feeling and she was really swollen, uncomfortable she couldn't really breath very well she was having spotty vision."

[RELATED] A call to action to hold medical board accountable for death of 23-year-old Demi Dominguez

According to records, she had preeclampsia but was not diagnosed by her OBGYN or Dr. Park who saw her during the emergency visit.

Dominguez says, "That was our biggest mistake and then we lost her...he's the doctor...we're not the doctor...that's what we're supposed to do."

Demi's family continues to push to get Dr. Park's medical license revoked and now has a formal accusation filed against him.

Himes says, "I do have another grandson, and I see him and I just think you know Malakhi should be his cousin should be here."

Demi's mom, fiancé, and mother-in-law plan to speak before the medical board listing all areas that need reform.

Xavier De Leon, Demi’s fiancé and Malakhi’s father describes the upcoming oversight review of the California Medical Board. He says, "The Sunset Review is a really big deal because it only happens every four years and that's when the legislatures and senators get together to review the medical board and I believe the osteopathic board to really see what they're doing right and they're doing wrong and right now from our experience they're doing a lot of things wrong."

They want transparency and accountability for doctors with all families—not just in Demi's case, but also for baby Malakhi.

Himes says, "They're calling him a fetus, he's a baby boy. His name is Malakhi and he lived for 18 hours-- he deserves to have his own complaint he suffered medical negligence on his own on top of with his mother."

After years of grief and thousands of dollars in this process, family of Demi and Malakhi are working to keep their names alive and help the community.

De Leon says, "Did I have to lose my family and get robbed of it.. yes, but at the same time we get to help many other families that we don't even know or see or even meet so that they don't have to go through something like this."

And as the family hopes to bring awareness to the difficult process to file a complaint with the Medical Board, they also hope to see reform in that area.

Senator Melissa Hurtado will also be sitting in on the oversight hearing.

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Hurtado says, "There's just going to be a lot of information and questions asked as to how the medical board has or has not been working for Californians, but particularly Senate District 14 and that's my number one priority is trying to figure out um, ask the questions that will lead me to improving the care for patients and expanding healthcare access here in the Central Valley."

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