Family of Brain-Dead Teen Given Until Jan. 7

A judge has given the family of Jahi McMath until Jan. 7 to find a place that will take the 13-year-old, who has been brain-dead since tonsil surgery. 

Jahi McMath's mother, Nailah Winkfield (center), and her uncle, Omari Sealey, moments after learning the most recent news about the teen's care
Jahi McMath's mother, Nailah Winkfield (center), and her uncle, Omari Sealey, moments after learning the most recent news about the teen's care youtube

The doctors at Children’s Hospital Oakland had cleared the family out of Jahi McMath’s hospital room on Monday evening. The time to take the brain-dead teen off the ventilator was approaching.

Then the phone rang, and a prayer was answered for the family, who have been desperately looking for another hospital to care for the 13-year-old.

Jahi’s family has been at the center of a fight over the end of life. According to Children’s Hospital, Jahi’s life ended when doctors declared the teen brain-dead, after what was supposed to be a routine tonsillectomy took a drastic turn earlier this month.

For Nailah Winkfield, Jahi’s mother, as long as her daughter’s heart still beats, there is a chance that her daughter will wake up. The fight for Jahi’s family is to get the court and the hospital to allow enough time for a miracle to happen. 

The court had given the hospital clearance to take the teen off life support after 5:00 p.m. Monday evening, but in a more recent ruling, a judge ruled that she should stay on a ventilator for another week.

The family now has until Jan. 7 to find a place that is willing to take Jahi, the Associated Press reports.

One of the major problems hindering Jahi’s transfer is that she will need surgery to insert a feeding tube and a tracheotomy for breathing before she can be moved. Children’s Hospital has said that it’s unethical to operate on a person who is legally dead, AP reports.

The family’s lawyer, Christopher Dolan, has filed suit in federal court asking that the hospital perform the surgeries needed for Jahi’s transport.

Comments