OAKLAND, California, December 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – 13-year-old Jahi McMath went into cardiac arrest after a routine tonsillectomy in 2013. Jahi was in oxygen-deprived cardiac arrest for two hours, causing brain damage. Though Jahi lived, her doctors said she was “brain-dead,” and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland and Alameda County officials issued a death certificate.
Since Jahi has been declared “dead,” insurance no longer covers her health care.
Jahi's mother, Nailah Winkfield, sued Jahi's doctor, Dr. Frederick Rosen, for failing to tell her that Jahi's surgery would be “complex and risky” due to Jahi's susceptibility to heavy bleeding and for failing to share that risk with nurses taking care of her recovery after surgery.
Jahi began coughing up blood the morning after the surgery; the nurses didn't know she had a risk of serious hemorrhage. The nurses told Nailah Winkfield that Jahi's bleeding was “normal.” One nurse even used a suction device to clear the bleeding. Eventually, Jahi's heart stopped, causing brain damage.
Now, Jahi's biological father, Milton McMath, has sued as well.
Jahi caught the attention of the media when her mother refused to take her off life support. The Winkfields removed Jahi from Oakland to New Jersey, where she continues to live and her vitals are strong.
The Winkfields note that Jahi's heart is beating on its own, and her organs are not failing, as would be the case if she were brain-dead. They have released several videos showing Jahi moving and reacting to stimuli.
In October, a judge ruled that Jahi's family could present evidence to determine if she is alive or dead. If dead, the suit would be for wrongful death, with a maximum of $250,000 for damages.
If Jahi is declared legally alive, the lawsuit could be for many millions of dollars.