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Brain-dead girl moved from California hospital

Tonsillectomy Brain Dead GirlOAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The 13-year-old California girl declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy has been taken out of Children's Hospital of Oakland, her family's attorney said late Sunday.

Jahi McMath left the hospital in a private ambulance shortly before 8 p.m. Sunday, Christopher Dolan told The Associated Press.

She was taken by a critical care team while attached to a ventilator but without a feeding tube, Dolan said. Her destination was not immediately disclosed.

"It was a very tense situation," said Dolan. "Everybody played by the rules."

David Durand, the hospital's Chief of Pediatrics, said the girl was released to the coroner. The coroner then released her into the custody of her mother, Nailah Winkfield, as per court order, Durand said in an email.

On Friday Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo said Jahi could be transferred under an agreement with Children's Hospital and the girl's mother will be held accountable for developments that could include Jahi going into cardiac arrest.

The Alameda County coroner's office issued a death certificate for the girl Friday but said the document is incomplete because no cause of death has been determined pending an autopsy.

"They may have issued one but we don't have it. We don't think she's dead," Dolan said. "We got all the necessary legal paperwork in order to get Jahi out of there."

A court injunction prohibiting Children's Hospital from removing the ventilator that has kept Jahi's heart pumping since her Dec. 9 surgery expires at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Dolan wouldn't specify where the girl was taken but he said "they are going to care for her, respect her and love her. And they're going to call her Jahi, not 'the body.'"

After spending weeks in a very public and tense fight with the hospital, Jahi's family does not plan to disclose any more about their plans for her continued care until she is resettled, her uncle, Omari Sealey, told reporters on Friday.

The hospital has argued since before Christmas that Jahi's brain death means she is legally dead and she should be disconnected from the ventilator. It also has refused to fit her with a feeding tube or a breathing tube that would help stabilize her during a move, saying it was unethical to perform medical procedures on a dead person.

Hospital spokesman Sam Singer said officials were not informed where the girl was being taken.

"We hope that the family finds peace in this very, very tragic story," he said.

Winkfield, refusing to believe her daughter is dead as long as her heart is beating, has gone to court to stop the machine from being disconnected. She has wanted to transfer Jahi to another facility and hoped to force Children's Hospital either to insert the tubes or to allow an outside doctor to do the procedures.

Grillo on Friday rejected the family's move to have the hospital insert the tubes, noting the girl could be moved with the ventilator and intravenous fluid lines she has now. He also refused to compel the hospital to permit an outside doctor perform the procedures on its premises.

Dolan said Friday the family has located an unaffiliated physician to put in the tubes and that an outpatient clinic in New York that treats people with traumatic brain injures has expressed willingness to care for Jahi.

Jahi went into cardiac arrest while recovering from surgery to remove her tonsils, adenoids and uvula along with bony structures from her nose and throat and palate tissue. Three doctors have declared the girl brain dead based on exams and tests showing no blood flow or electrical activity in either her cerebrum or the brain stem that controls breathing.

Multiple outside doctors and bioethicists observing the case have confirmed that a patient in that condition meets the legal criteria for death and has no chance of recovering.

The judge earlier this week ordered Children's Hospital to keep Jahi on the ventilator until Jan. 7 at 5 p.m. He said Friday that he would dissolve the injunction as soon as Winkfield assumes custody of her daughter's body.

Hospital spokesman Sam Singer said that if the girl is not transferred by the deadline, her family would have to seek an extension or the ventilator would be removed.
Jahi McMath Released From Calif. Hospital

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PORKIE January 06 2014 at 9:17 AM

I know what it's like to loose a child, it's very hard. If there is no hope of recovery, they have to let this poor girl go to heaven where she belongs now. Let her become the angel she is now meant to

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stormint January 06 2014 at 5:33 PM


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showell419 January 06 2014 at 1:09 PM

My heart goes out for the family of this young girl. I wish them peace. I have the highest respect for Oakland Children's Hospital. My grandson spent the first 6 weeks of his life under their care and he is now a beautiful, healthy 5 year old. We are fortunate to have been the beneficiaries of such a dedicated medical team and staff who made our little baby whole again. We are blessed.

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barbgiano January 06 2014 at 9:51 AM

So sad and feel so bad for the family. Try to put yourself in their place. Their healthy little girl died needlessly. She looked like a happy child who loved life. God Bless the family.

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1 reply
gramargo barbgiano January 06 2014 at 8:50 PM

I'd say this girl wasn't really healthy, since she was obese and had developed several medical problems. It's a sad situation, but the parents should realize there is danger in even the simplest surgery (and this wasn't really that simple) no matter how good the physician and hospital may be. Jahi is unfortunately dead and there's no coming back when the brain and brain stem show no response at all. I hope the parents can come to understand that she won't recover at all and can let her go before her body deteriorates completely.

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agnesctrs January 06 2014 at 10:51 AM

Praying for this child and her family.

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~Babe~ January 06 2014 at 1:10 PM

oh lord, what have these parents done? this is barbaric!

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1 reply
gloria ~Babe~ January 06 2014 at 1:43 PM

It is barbaric until you go through this situation. You can say what you want do until you are face with this decision. I don't want to take my child through that but I can't honestly say what I would do. The doctor said no doctor or Jesus could save her. Maybe it is her faith and the love of God that keeps her going. It isn't over until God say so.

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milkglasslover January 06 2014 at 1:13 PM

To have this story and Terry's on the same day brings a lot of thoughts and controversy. I would NOT want to live like either one. I have told family and every one I know and have living will at 2 hospitals, my doctor and it sits on top of my desk. We let our pets go when it's time and sometimes think people are thinking of themselves when they won't let a loved one go. Unless one has told every body that they want to be kept alive no matter how, it's time to let them go and start healing.

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1 reply
gloria milkglasslover January 06 2014 at 2:15 PM

All through we love our animal I do think it hard for a family to do that to a person they love.

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crisvoness January 06 2014 at 5:10 PM

so sad no matter how you look at it....breaks my heart.

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Tresia Ann January 06 2014 at 1:17 PM

Having worked as a nurse in Neuro ICU and having help with procedures used to declare brain death in 2007-2008. If her brain was alive the pain would cause a reaction, if only a primitive jerk reaction. As to the person who stated she was healthy and this was a routine procedure, look at the pictures. The young girl was morbidly obese, where was the concern for her when allowing her to get that unhealthy. If her brain is dead, how will her body be able to process the food if given a feeding tube. Her body cannot work without her brain. I do not know of a machine that keeps the gastro system processing.

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caust5 Tresia Ann January 06 2014 at 1:31 PM

I think it's ironic that in Texas a law prohibits a family that wants their loved one that's been declared brain dead taken off the ventilator but can't because she is pregnant she can't be taken off even if declared brain dead by the doctors. How will the baby be nourished and survive if the mother is brain dead.

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gloria Tresia Ann January 06 2014 at 1:36 PM

I am a nurse to. How can you talk about her being obese. The issue is about a young girl which was obese when she went into a hospital for a routine surgery and wind up brain dead. Let the family deal with this matter the only way they can. Someone said who will be paying for her medical treatment. I don't think there will bea problem after the family sues. Instead of saying things negative we all should pray for the girl and her family. Show a little love. What will be will be.

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hi bev January 06 2014 at 1:21 PM

I feel sorry for this little girl's family. They just aren't willing to accept what is and that is their little girl has already passed. It must be very difficult for them to accept that fact but it is the fact.

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1 reply
ncpd2320 hi bev January 06 2014 at 1:36 PM

Bev, Not coming against your feelings, just wanted to share a true story with you. About 5 years ago the hospital had said that this man from our church was brain dead. One day I was sitting next to him reading the Bible to him. I decided to get up and walk to the other side as I kept reading. As I was walking to the other side he followed me with his head. I went back and forth and he continued to follow me. The hospital could not explain it. He did pass over to glory a short time later. My question was "Was he really brain dead?

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