The family of a 13-year-old Jahi McMath, who was declared brain dead after a routine tonsil surgery in mid-December, has finally received the feeding and breathing tubes that her family been fighting for.
The family’s attorney, Christopher Dolan, stated that “doctors inserted the gastric tube and tracheostomy tube Wednesday at the undisclosed facility where Jahi McMath was taken Jan. 5.”
“The procedure was a success,” Dolan added. “Jahi is getting the treatment that her family believes she should have gotten 28 days ago, when doctors at Children’s Hospital Oakland first declared her brain dead.”
Jahi was declared brain dead on Dec. 12, three days following routine tonsil surgery. Dolan said the surgery, aimed at treating Jahi’s sleep apnea, was considered routine, but after surgery the 13-year-old began bleeding profusely, suffered a heart attack, and then brain swelling.
Following the sad turn of events, the family found themselves battling with the Oakland Children’s Hospital & Research Center to keep their beloved daughter on life support.
“Because Ms. McMath is dead, practically and legally, there is no course of medical treatment to continue or discontinue; there is nothing to which the family’s consent is applicable,” Oakland Children’s Hospital & Research Center told the court.
The case, which quickly grew national attention, was heard in court on Dec. 23 where Alameda Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ruled that the hospital was to refrain from making any decisions regarding discontinuing Jahi’s life support until Dec. 30. “This is a very, very charged case. The stakes are very high. There is a young girl involved, and I think it would suit both parties well if you would speak with each other about how we are going to get through the next few days,” Grillo said, encouraging both parties to work together.
Following a final round of testimony from doctors affirming the hospital’s diagnosis, Grillo sided with the medical facility, agreeing that Jahi met the medical standard for being brain dead, but ordered to keep her on life support until Dec. 30, providing Jahi’s family time to prepare an appeal.
We hope the best for Jahi as she receives treatment at a new center.