‘As Healthy and Beautiful as Ever’: Jahi McMath’s Family Posts New Photo of Teen Declared Brain-Dead 2 Years Ago

Nailah Winkfield, the mother of Oakland, Calif., teen Jahi McMath, who was declared brain-dead after a 2013 surgery, called her daughter a warrior in a Facebook post.

Jahi McMath with her mother, Nailah Winkfield
Jahi McMath with her mother, Nailah Winkfield Keep Jahi Mcmath on Life Support via Facebook 

Jahi McMath, an Oakland, Calif., teen who was declared brain-dead in December 2013, is as “healthy and beautiful as ever,” according to a post by her mother, Nailah Winkfield, in a Facebook group updated with a new photo of Jahi.

Her parents shared the photo of the now 15-year-old on Friday, the first update in about three months.

Jahi was declared brain-dead in December 2013 after going into cardiac arrest following a routine surgery to remove her tonsils and help her sleep apnea. Initially, three doctors declared her legally dead and applied to turn off the life-support machine, but the family refused to accept the diagnosis and ultimately won an injunction preventing the move. They subsequently transferred her to an undisclosed facility in New Jersey that was willing to keep her on life support. 

The new photo was captioned: “Beautiful Jahi and her lovely mother. Recent picture of Jahi with her loving mother. Jahi as healthy and beautiful as ever, proving the naysayers wrong. A fighter, A warrior, A blessed child, Gods got your back little girl, keep fighting. Your testimony will be a great one. Prayers going up from many, all the prayers, good wishes combined with your mothers love for you which is pure and soothing will definitely keep you going. Stay blessed everyone and thank you for your prayers and love.”

In December, the family spoke about their continued efforts to void the teen’s death certificate and have her declared alive. The change would mean that insurance companies would be required to pay for her treatment, ensuring that the family could care for her in their Oakland home. 

“I want her to have the same rights as any other disabled kid,” Winkfield said at the time.