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Jahi McMath case: Judge extends life support

A judge extended life support for Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old who was declared brain dead after tonsil surgery.
December 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A judge has extended life support for Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after complications from tonsil surgery.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ordered Children's Hospital Oakland to maintain Jahi on a ventilator until 5 p.m. Jan. 7. A previous ruling that kept her on a breathing machine was set to expire at 5 p.m. Monday.

Jahi's family wants to continue life support, believing there is still hope for recovery. Nailah Winkfield, the girl's mother, said the delay was an answer to her prayers and a sign that she was right to keep fighting.

"Who wants to know the date and the time their child would die?" she said. "I don't care what anyone has to say about what I'm doing... I have to do what is right for me and for Jahi."

The family does not believe Jahi is dead, despite the fact that six physicians have determined that she is brain dead.

"Jahi is moving when her mother speaks and her mother touches her," said Omari Sealey, the girl's uncle. "We have video and our attorneys have just produced it to the hospital's attorneys. We have a pediatrician who has seen Jahi who has sworn she is not dead."

Hospital spokesman Sam Singer called the situation tragic, but stressed they believe the girl to be dead.

"No amount of prayer, no amount of hope, no amount of any type of medical procedure will bring her back," he said.

Jahi's family raised more than $20,000 online to move her to another facility. But then the Southern California facility that had offered to take her backed out over the weekend.

Sealey said another facility in New York has agreed to take Jahi, and they have contracted an air ambulance that is willing to transport her there. They family did not specify which facility it was.

Children's Hospital Oakland has not yet responded to the new temporary restraining order.

Jahi underwent tonsil surgery at Children's Hospital on Dec. 9 to treat sleep apnea. Her family said that after the procedure, she started bleeding heavily from her mouth and went into cardiac arrest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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