Race is on to save California toddler as hospital plans to remove life support tomorrow
Update: A judge has now given Israel a reprieve until Monday. Story here.
SACRAMENTO, California, April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Time is running out for a California toddler on life support as his parents and attorneys search for a medical facility to accept him temporarily so he can have a chance at life.
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Sacramento will be withdrawing treatment tomorrow from two-year-old Israel Stinson, and unless another hospital agrees before then to take him in the meantime, he will die.
The family needs to find a hospital that will admit him, even if only for a short time, until they can find a long-term facility, LLDF Executive Director Alexandra Snyder said, and they have arranged for a life flight to transport Israel anywhere in the country.
“We will do whatever it takes to facilitate the transfer,” Snyder told LifeSiteNews.
They are also hoping for a second medical opinion to show the child is still alive.
“If we can get a neurologist to examine Israel and find that he is not brain dead, that would of course save his life,” Snyder said.
Israel suffered an asthma attack April 1 and was taken to Sacramento’s Mercy General Hospital ER, where he was stabilized, but since Mercy lacked a pediatric care unit, he was transferred to UC Davis Medical Center.
After his admission to UC Davis, Israel had another attack, stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest, resulting in his being resuscitated and placed on a ventilator. He was moved to the Kaiser facility April 12 at the family’s request amidst concerns for his care at UC Davis during the second attack.
Despite the family’s intent for Israel to receive ongoing care at Kaiser, less than 24 hours after his admission there the facility began testing Israel’s brain activity, without his parents’ full knowledge or consent, declaring him brain dead April 14.
Israel’s mother Jonee Fonseca had placed numerous notes around her son’s room expressly stating the hospital did not have permission to perform the tests on him.
Fonseca told LifeSiteNews a female Kaiser doctor had promised her “mother to mother” they would not test him in her absence, yet the hospital did anyway.
She reported as well that Doctor Paul Byrne, an outside expert brought in by LLDF, had informed her the hospital was failing to provide Israel with the full range of nutrition he needed to thrive. Upon Fonseca’s asking for this to be corrected, the hospital initially agreed, but did not follow through, indicating her son was getting what was necessary.
Despite only receiving dextrose (sugar) for nearly a month, Fonseca said Israel’s condition has not deteriorated, and in fact, he’s been intermittently responsive to his parents’ voices and music.
The family has remained hopeful and relied on faith that their son will recover. “We are asking for your prayers,” Snyder stated.
LLDF attorneys secured a religious accommodation in court yesterday for time for Israel’s family to gather at his bedside by tomorrow, the third extension of an April 14 temporary restraining order compelling the hospital to provide the toddler the basic treatment he needs to survive.
His family is hoping to eventually find a long-term care facility in New Jersey, where Snyder said the state does not allow for a declaration of brain death in cases where the family members believe that life continues until the heart stops beating.
Many Catholics and Orthodox Jews share this belief, Snyder said, telling LifeSiteNews that they’re hoping a Catholic hospital will agree to take Israel in the meantime. She said as well that Israel’s parents are willing to waive liability for the facility that accepts him.
Israel needs two procedures before he can be considered for home care, a breathing tube and a feeding tube, these being key, for the child to receive proper nutrition, and because it’s not safe to remain on a ventilator this long.
Kaiser has refused to perform the procedures, and was in court with Snyder yesterday seeking to dissolve LLDF’s order.
Snyder told LifeSiteNews the legal foundation had tried for an accommodation until Israel could be transferred, but the judge would not grant it, leaving tomorrow as the deadline to save him.
Thus, the frantic search is on for a step down facility to provide interim care.
LLDF is asking for prayers for Israel and his family, and for anyone who knows of a doctor, hospital or other facility that may be able to help Israel to contact the Foundation at 707-224-6675.