13-Year-Old Girl Brain Dead After Getting Routine Surgery To Have Tonsils Removed

December 16, 2013  |  

Having your tonsils removed always sounded like a relatively straightforward, not too complicated surgical procedure. Back in the day, I knew young people who had the surgery. But what was supposed to be a simple procedure for 13-year-old Jahi McMath has now left the teen on life support after she had some major complications.

According to the ABC affiliate in California, McMath, of Oakland, went to Oakland Children’s Hospital in the area last Monday to have her tonsils removed. Her mother, Nailah Winkfield, told ABC that she was actually having the surgery because McMath’s doctors said it would help with her sleep apnea.

“She smiled when she walked in this hospital and I told her this surgery is to make you better.”

Unfortunately, it made the young girl anything but.

“My daughter had actual clots sliding out of her mouth and they gave me a cup and said, ‘here catch them with the cup so we can measure them.'”

Soon after that, Winkfield says that her daughter went into cardiac arrest and died. Doctors were able to revive McMath, but at this point, she’s brain dead. To make things even more stressful, staff at Oakland Children’s Hospital have allegedly been encouraging Winkfield to remove her child from life support.

“They just have a social worker follow me around all day long asking me ‘do you have any other family that needs to see her?’ like trying to put a rush on it.”

McMath doesn’t want to remove her child from life support, but instead, wants answers from the hospital as to how all of this could have happened to the 13-year-old, and they claim that the staff has shown the girl a lack of attention. A statement has been released by hospital spokesperson Melinda Kriegel and she says that staff is investigating the situation:

“We’re very sad about this outcome, about what’s happened to her, but at this point I have no information on the details of the surgery. We will certainly investigate what happened. In any surgery there are risks and there can be unexpected, unanticipated complications.”

This is just a terrible turn of events and I can’t imagine what this family is going through.  What possibly could have gone wrong with the tonsillectomy? Share your thoughts on this tragedy below.

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