Jahi McMath, California teenager who suffered brain damage following tonsil surgery, has died

Jahi McMath, who was declared brain-dead in 2013 after routine tonsil surgery, sparking a years-long legal battle, has died.

McMath — who was 13 at the time of the procedure — died on June 22, her family’s attorney, Christopher Dolan, said.

"Jahi died as the result of complications associated with liver failure," Dolan said in a statement to CNN. "A preliminary Abstract of Death (Death Certificate) was completed by the hospital physician treating Jahi listing her cause of death as bleeding as a result of hepatic (liver) failure.”

In the statement, Dolan and the child’s family continue to assert that the Oakland, Calif. Children’s Hospital where the teen was treated should be held responsible for her outcome.

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A photograph of 13-year-old Jahi McMath is seen on a necklace in Oakland, California December 24, 2013. A judge on Tuesday denied the McMath family's petition to keep their daughter on ventilator at the Children's Hospital Oakland past December 30 after doctors declared her brain dead following a routine REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH CRIME LAW)
Oakland, Calif, USA. 23rd Dec, 2013. Nailah Winkfield, center, mother of Jahi McMath, receives hugs and support from family and friends in front of Children's Hospital Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. © Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group/MCT/Alamy Live News
Oakland, CA, USA . 05th Jan, 2014. The exterior of Children's Hospital Oakland on January 5, 2014 in Oakland, California. The hospital is currently involved in a legal battle over Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old girl who became brain dead after complications from surgery to remove her tonsils. The hospital has declared McMath dead and want to remove her from the ventilator keeping her alive and her family has sued to prevent the move. © Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Live News
Oakland, CA, USA . 05th Jan, 2014. The exterior of Children's Hospital Oakland on January 5, 2014 in Oakland, California. The hospital is currently involved in a legal battle over Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old girl who became brain dead after complications from surgery to remove her tonsils. The hospital has declared McMath dead and want to remove her from the ventilator keeping her alive and her family has sued to prevent the move. © Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Live News
(L-R) Jahi McMath's uncle Omari Sealy, grandmother Sandra Chatman and family attorney Chris Dolan react after speaking with the media outside Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, California, December 30, 2013. The family of 13-year-old Jahi, who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy won an 11th-hour court order on Monday requiring doctors to keep her connected to a breathing machine for at least another week, relatives said. Jahi's mother Nailah Winkfield and uncle told reporters that a court has issued an injunction barring Children's Hospital in Oakland from removing the girl from a ventilator without her family's consent before January 7. REUTERS/Norbert von der Groeben (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY)
Oakland Children's Hospital spokesperson Sam Singer speaks with the media at the U.S. District Courthouse for a settlement conference in Oakland, California, January 3, 2014. Relatives of a California girl declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy want her moved to a long-term care facility, but face resistance from the hospital where she is due to be disconnected from a breathing machine on Monday. Under the latest court order in the case, doctors at Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland are barred from taking 13-year-old Jahi McMath off a ventilator without her family's consent before 5 p.m. local time on Jan. 7, relatives and hospital officials said. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH)
Nailah Winkfield, the mother of Jahi McMath, along with Jahi's uncle Omari Sealy (R), speak with the media outside Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, California, December 30, 2013. The family of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy won an 11th-hour court order on Monday requiring doctors to keep her connected to a breathing machine for at least another week, relatives said. The mother and uncle of Jahi told reporters that a court has issued an injunction barring Children's Hospital in Oakland from removing the girl from a ventilator without her family's consent before January 7. REUTERS/Norbert von der Groeben (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY)
(L-R) Sandra Chatman, grandmother of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, attorney Christopher Dolan and Omari Sealey, uncle of McMath, embrace each other after a court hearing in Oakland, California December 24, 2013. A judge on Tuesday denied the McMath family's petition to keep her on ventilator at the Children's Hospital Oakland past December 30 after doctors declared her brain dead following a routine tonsillectomy procedure. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH CRIME LAW)
Christopher Dolan, attorney representing the family of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, wipes his eyes as a judge announces his ruling on McMath in Oakland, California December 24, 2013. A judge on Tuesday denied the McMath family's petition to keep her on ventilator at the Children's Hospital Oakland past December 30 after doctors declared her brain dead following a routine tonsillectomy procedure. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH CRIME LAW)
Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath, sits with her husband, Martin Winkfield, left, while attending a court hearing to discuss the treatment of 13-year-old daughter Jahi McMath in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. Jahi remains on a ventilator at Children's Hospital Oakland after suffering tragic complications during surgery. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group/MCT)
Dr. Paul Fisher, chief of pediatric neurology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, testifies during a court hearing on 13-year-old Jahi McMath in Oakland, California December 24, 2013. A judge on Tuesday denied the McMath family's petition to keep their daughter on ventilator at the Children's Hospital Oakland past December 30 after doctors declared her brain dead following a routine tonsillectomy procedure. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH CRIME LAW)
Martin Winkfield (L), stepfather of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, and Sandra Chatman, grandmother of McMath, sit in the court room during a court hearing in Oakland, California December 24, 2013. A judge on Tuesday denied the McMath family's petition to keep their daughter on ventilator at the Children's Hospital Oakland past December 30 after doctors declared her brain dead following a routine tonsillectomy procedure. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH CRIME LAW)
(L-R) Family members Omari Sealey and Sandra Chatman, together with attorney Christopher Dolan, smile as they speak to members of the media after a court hearing on 13-year-old Jahi McMath in Oakland, California December 24, 2013. A judge on Tuesday denied the McMath family's petition to keep her on ventilator at the Children's Hospital Oakland past December 30 after doctors declared her brain dead following a routine tonsillectomy procedure. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH CRIME LAW)
Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath, speaks to the media outside Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, California, December 30, 2013. The family of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy won an 11th-hour court order on Monday requiring doctors to keep her connected to a breathing machine for at least another week, relatives said. Jahi's mother and uncle Omari Sealy told reporters that a court has issued an injunction barring Children's Hospital in Oakland from removing the girl from a ventilator without her family's consent before January 7. REUTERS/Norbert von der Groeben (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY)
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“(The death certificate) notes that Jahi had been suffering from an anoxic brain injury for 4 years,” Dolan continued. “Anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen. Jahi suffered an anoxic brain injury as the result of severe blood loss after surgery at Children's Hospital Oakland in December of 2013 when medical staff failed to treat Jahi or summon a doctor after she had undergone surgery on her tonsils, adenoids and soft palette to address a condition known as apnea."

McMath underwent surgery on December 9, 2013, getting her tonsils, adenoids and extra sinus tissue removed to treat pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. The condition would make her stop breathing in her sleep.

After surgery, the teen was recovering in intensive care when she went into cardiac arrest as a result of excessive bleeding, and by December 12, she was declared brain-dead.

But her family did not agree with the doctors’ definition of death, leading to a legal battle between the two sides. A judge sided with the hospital after several months, prompting McMath’s care team to remove McMath from a ventilator. Children’s Hospital Oakland released the teenager to her family instead, who still would not accept the medical and legal ruling that she would not recover.

McMath was brought to an undisclosed location in New Jersey where she died last week at 17 among her mother, Nailah Winkfield, stepfather Marvin Winkfield and sister, according to the statement. She will be buried in California.

Winkfield is "devastated by the loss of her daughter who had showed tremendous strength and courage."

"My daughter knew I was there and that I loved her, I knew she was there and that she loved me too," Winkfield said. "It is tragic that only now, after her death can I bring my daughter home."

The family lawyer said that he will continue his pro-bono work "through the federal civil rights case which was filed in the Northern District of California to have her hastily prepared death certificate reversed, and her date of death established as June 22, 2018."

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