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Life support extended for girl declared brain dead

Judge Stops Hospital From Taking Jahi McMath Off Ventilator


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A California judge has ordered a 13-year-old girl declared brain dead to be kept on life support until Jan. 7.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo on Monday ordered Children's Hospital Oakland to maintain Jahi McMath on a ventilator past a 5 p.m. time set in a previous ruling.

The family wants to continue life support, saying there is hope for recovery.

Doctors at Children's Hospital and an independent pediatric neurologist from Stanford University have concluded the girl is brain dead.

Jahi underwent a tonsillectomy at the hospital on Dec. 9 to treat sleep apnea and other issues. After she awoke from the operation, her family said, she started bleeding heavily and went into cardiac arrest.

She was declared brain dead three days later.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

The family of a 13-year-old California girl who was declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy said Monday they will sue to keep her on life support.

Family spokesman Omari Sealey, the uncle of Jahi McMath, disclosed the plan to seek a restraining order against the hospital where the girl is on a breathing machine.

Under an order issued on Dec. 24 by a state judge, Jahi could be removed from a ventilator at Children's Hospital of Oakland at 5 p.m. PST.

The family wants to stop the hospital, saying there is hope for recovery.

Sealey said the family took video of Jahi responding when her mother touched and talked to her. He also said a pediatrician examined her and said she was not dead.

A facility in New York state is willing to take Jahi, and arrangements have been made for medical transport with a doctor by her side, the uncle said.

"We are hopeful one of these (court) actions will forestall the hospital's effort to extinguish Jahi's life," Sealey said.

The teen suffered cardiac arrest after bleeding profusely following her operation earlier this month.

The hospital has declined to comment on its possible actions.

Jahi underwent a tonsillectomy at the hospital on Dec. 9 to treat sleep apnea and other issues. After she awoke from the operation, her family said, she started bleeding heavily and went into cardiac arrest. She was declared brain dead three days later.

The family said on its fundraising website that it had raised more than $25,000 for a possible transfer.

Doctors at Children's Hospital and an independent pediatric neurologist from Stanford University have concluded the girl is brain dead.

On Monday, Sam Singer, a hospital spokesman, reiterated the position of the doctors.

"This is one of the most tragic situations imaginable," Singer said. "A family has long their young daughter. But unfortunately, Jahi is deceased. No amount of hope, prayer or medical procedures will bring her back."

Singer said patient privacy laws require that any updates about the girl's status must come from the family.

"It is in their hands now," Singer said.

Cynthia Chiarappa, a hospital spokeswoman, has said officials would have to understand the capabilities of the New York facility before allowing a possible transfer.

The hospital also said it would need to confirm there is lawful transportation included in any transfer plan and there is written permission from the coroner.

Doctors at Children's Hospital have refused to perform a tracheotomy for breathing and to insert a feeding tube - procedures that would be necessary to transfer Jahi. The hospital has said it's unethical to perform surgery on a person legally declared dead.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Join the discussion

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samsmi December 30 2013 at 9:54 PM

Timisinthehands - Please, go w/ faith or money but DON'T "mix" the two in one debate!!! ZERO credibility!

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1 reply
timeisinhishands samsmi December 30 2013 at 10:04 PM

Please go take your negativity and gripe to your dog.

Your on this board full of negativity and griping because you have no friends, and because your a complainer about EVERYTRHING that comes up in any subject

Flag Reply +1 rate up
abcstarfox December 30 2013 at 11:48 PM

Is this some kind of a new game? How long are they going to do this???

Reminds me of the Terri Schiavo case at a few thousand dollars a day.

I am fully aware of what it means to lose someone you love. One does
not get over it. One learns to live with it, and it takes a long time.

...but this is not a coma.....brain dead is not something one RECOVERS from.
Do they (everyone involved) really not get this? Is the legal system and
the medical field suddenly not too bright?

Why are they giving this family false hope?
I am sorry for the family, but whatever happed to reality.

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pattoncl2 December 30 2013 at 11:49 PM

To continue life support for this brain dead individual is only postponing the grief that this family will have to suffer. When pronounced "brain dead" by several physicians, it is time to let the body go, and remember the individual as they were.
Also....who is going to pay the ongoing bills of great expense for this??

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1 reply
Dave pattoncl2 December 30 2013 at 11:54 PM

In the end, we all pay for it through increased premiums. Although I do feel the familys grief, this is madness. Pull the plug and let the poor girl be buried.

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msjack53 December 30 2013 at 9:12 PM

Went thru this with my mom. She went in sick to her stomach on Sunday. Had surgery on Monday never came out of it. Doctors sat and talked with family. Explained everything . Could put in feeding tube, but it would be coming right out. They explained everything to us in detail. It was our decision if we took her off life support. I did not, but other siblings agree it was best. She only lived one hour once taken off. I love her and miss her, but it was best. Hard decision to make.

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photoclocksusa December 31 2013 at 12:01 AM

How very, very Sad for this family to loose their dear child, but what is even more Sad, is that the family can not or choses not to understand what the term: "Brain Dead" means.....

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Robert DelRaso December 30 2013 at 9:08 PM

I'm curious have they totally investigated when she had her tonsils being removed - was there any records about all hospital employees who were there working on this girl. Like was she given the right amount oxygen and medication during the process. Could an hospital employee made a mistake and gave her too much oxygen or medication. I haven't heard anything about looking into the hospital performance and handling on causing this girl to become brain dead. It sounds like to me the hospital is trying to cover-up their mistake causing this girl to become brain dead. I wish the news would push on this.

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1 reply
thelaughingpig Robert DelRaso December 30 2013 at 9:16 PM

Just exactly have you read that this was anything more than a post operative hemorrhage? Can you share any articles that have indicated that there were problems DURING the operation? Unfortunately post operative hemorrhage is not uncommon following tonsillectomy. BTW- this child had a considerably more extensive surgery than a simple tonsillectomy. What she had was a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, submucosal resection of the inferior turbinates and a uvulopharyngiopalatoplasy. These are MAJOR procedures. Recovery is nothing like the kid who had their tonsils out when they were three and ate ice cream for a few days and was fine.

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1 reply
thelaughingpig thelaughingpig December 30 2013 at 9:19 PM

She also had some big comorbid conditions going into the procedure. She was clinically obese, she had existing airway issues and severe sleep apnea. The first treatment that would have been tried was for her to wear a CPAP device while she slept. Evidently that did not correct the problem, so she had this extensive surgery.

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dock038 December 31 2013 at 12:10 AM

Susan I am over 60 and when I had a tonsil removal operation even when I WAS 13 it was told to me and my family it could be a dangerous operation. and that's just if the tonsil operation was the ONLY procedure in the operation. her obesity might have been a problem.

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samsmi December 30 2013 at 9:05 PM

Can someone help clarkhenry1? If the U.S.A. falls, where do guys like this think they are going to? The middle east, Asia, Europe? My goodness!

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mcrebel December 30 2013 at 9:05 PM

I can only hope that all of those making decisions in this tragic case are guided by infinite wisdom and compassion.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
truthnews mcrebel December 30 2013 at 9:14 PM

We should not ever amputate tonsils unless life is at stake. Tonsils serve our bodies by keeping out bad invaders and aid digestion.

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CHERYL December 30 2013 at 9:04 PM

What is the name of the website?

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