OAKLAND, CA, January 9, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A 13-year-old girl declared “brain dead” by doctors at Oakland’s Children’s Hospital after suffering cardiac arrest following surgery to treat sleep apnea is said to be “improving” after receiving a tracheostomy and feeding tube.
“She is doing very well, and now getting the treatment she should have gotten 28 days ago,” family attorney Christopher Dolan said via Twitter. “Doctors are optimistic that her condition has stabilized.”
Jahi McMath underwent both surgeries at an undisclosed Catholic medical center after her family reached a legal settlement with Children’s Hospital allowing them to remove her from their facility.
Previously, they had begged the hospital to allow the procedures to be performed there, where Jahi had remained on a ventilator following her cardiac arrest on December 9, but the hospital refused, saying they would not allow medical procedures to be performed on a “deceased” patient.
California defines a loss of brain activity as legal death, but both Jahi’s family and Dr. Paul Byrne, who examined Jahi while she was at Children’s, said that despite the hospital’s insistence that Jahi was “brain dead,” her heart was beating on its own, her organs were functioning and she was responding with movements to family members.
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It should be “obvious to everyone” that Jahi is alive, Dr. Byrne told LifeSiteNews at the time. “Her heart is beating, she has circulation, she has respiration, her immune mechanisms are intact, and I’m sure she is healing from her tonsillectomy. Healing happens in only a living person. These are facts of life, that this girl is a living person and that she’s not dead.”
Jahi’s uncle, Omari Sealy, told CBS News that since Jahi’s transfer, the Catholic care facility has “been very welcoming with open arms. They have beliefs just like ours.”
However, family lawyer Christopher Dolan has said Jahi's body may be beyond the point of saving, due to the long lack of treatment in Oakland.