13-Year-Old Girl Brain Dead After Tonsillectomy To Be Taken Off Life Support Against Family’s Wishes

December 17, 2013  |  

We told you yesterday about the very sad story of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl from Oakland who went into the Oakland Children’s Hospital last week for a tonsillectomy, had major complications from the surgery and went into cardiac arrest, died, was revived, and is now brain dead. After finding out that her daughter was brain dead, Nailah Winkfield said in an interview with the ABC affiliate in California that she felt staff at the hospital had been rushing to take her daughter off of 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.”

And sadly it seems that the hospital is indeed rushing things, because according to The Daily Mail and KTVU, doctors have decided to remove her from life support TODAY because she’s been declared brain dead. Remember, she just went into the hospital for the procedure last Monday. The Alameda County Coroner reportedly wanted to pick her body up yesterday, but doctors decided to wait until Tuesday to give her family more time. McMath’s uncle, Omari Sealey, says it’s a decision the family is extremely upset about, because they wanted to see if her condition could improve in any way:

“We didn’t want her to be removed from life support but the decision is out of our hands because it’s been declared a legal death.

Something terrible went wrong. We hope the hospital’s investigation is conducted fairly and we get some answers.”

The procedure was supposed to be a simple routine one, but from jump Sealey claims that the young girl was apprehensive about the surgery, thinking something bad would happen to her. This is of course a normal worry for a child facing any kind of surgery. All seemed to be going well after the procedure, but her family, including her uncle, say that she started bleeding a great deal from the nose and mouth:

“I saw blood come out of her mouth. The images will stick with me forever.”

The chief of children’s pediatrics at Oakland Children’s Hospital, Dr. David Durand, put out a statement saying that the hospital is investigating McMath’s case and expressed sadness over the incident.

“Our hearts go out to her family and we want to support them during this extremely difficult time. With any surgical or medical procedure there are inherent risks and in rare occasions there are unexpected outcomes.”

According to the Daily Mail, to be declared legally dead because you’re brain dead, “two doctors must declare it at least three hours apart.”

Sadly, this is not the ending her family was hoping for, as Sealey had previously told the Oakland Tribune that they were hoping for a “Christmas miracle.” Now the family is reportedly trying to figure out whether or not they want to donate this beautiful child’s organs for future transplants. Please keep them in your prayers.

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