Two years after an Oakland, Calif., teen was declared brain-dead following tonsil-surgery complications, the family is still fighting to void the death certificate that was issued, the New York Daily News reports.
Jahi McMath was declared brain-dead in December 2013 after surgery to cure her sleep apnea. Hospital officials wanted to remove her from life support and a judge agreed, but before that could happen, the girl's mother, Nailah Winkfield, managed to arrange for the teen's transfer to another facility in New Jersey, which has an "exemption to brain death," according to the Daily News.
The now 15-year-old is currently still in New Jersey. Lawyers have already filed a lawsuit asking for Jahi to be declared alive and for the death certificate to be invalidated. That change in status would mean that insurance companies were required to pay for her treatment, and the family would then be able to take care of her in their Oakland home.
"I want her to have the same rights as any other disabled kid," Winkfield said.
On the Facebook page Keep Jahi McMath on Life Support, administrators consistently post updates about the young girl, including videos showing her fingers or toes twitching. Jahi's mother, and supporters, believe that these are signs that the teen is still alive, although medical experts, the Daily News notes, contend that these movements could be spasms and reflexes often seen in corpses.
Nonetheless, the mother remains unwaveringly determined and hopeful.
"I won't give up on Jahi because I'm her mother," Winkfield said, according to the Daily News.
Read more at the New York Daily News.