Family wants Christmas with girl declared brain-dead after tonsils removal

Jahi McMath was declared brain dead on Thursday, three days after undergoing tonsil surgery at Children's Hospital Oakland. She remains at the hospital on life support, even though its now considered a "coroner's case," according to NBC.

Courtesy of KGO-TV

Jahi McMath was declared brain dead last Thursday, three days after undergoing tonsil surgery at Children’s Hospital Oakland. She remains at the hospital on life support, even though its now considered a ‘coroner’s case,’ according to NBC.

The family of a 13-year-old girl left brain-dead after tonsillectomy surgery want to celebrate Christmas with the teen in her hospital room.

But doctors at Children’s Hospital Oakland want “the body” out of the room as soon as possible because she’s “dead, dead, dead,” Jahi McMath’s uncle tells the Daily News.

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“In the meeting we requested a feeding tube and they told us ‘we don’t feed the dead,’” Omari Sealey told the News late Thursday after the distraught family had a meeting with Dr. David Durand, the hospital’s head of pediatrics. “They didn’t refer to her as a patient, they called her ‘a body.’ It was by far the coldest and most heartless meeting we’ve had.”

The tragedy began Dec. 9 when Jahi underwent the routine procedure to have her tonsils removed in an attempt to control her sleep apnea.

Mother Nailah Winkfield is ignoring doctors' recommendations to take her daughter off of life support.

Courtesy of KGO-TV

Mother Nailah Winkfield is ignoring doctors’ recommendations to take her daughter off of life support.

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After waking, Jahi’s family said she seemed OK. But a mere 30 minutes later the eighth-grader began choking on her own blood.

“She wasn’t able to talk and she started to write notes to her mother saying I’m swallowing too much mucus, mom — am I OK? Mom — I feel like I’m choking,” Sealey told the San Jose Mercury News. “And she began to write these notes because she couldn’t talk because there was so much blood — it wasn’t mucus — it was blood. But my sister, the mother, was too afraid to let her know that it was blood and not mucus.”

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Three days after the procedure she was brain-dead.

Jahi McMath's family is holding out hope she will awaken despite doctors declaring her brain-dead.

Courtesy of KGO-TV

Jahi McMath’s family is holding out hope she will awaken despite doctors declaring her brain-dead.

The hospital has said it is restricted from speaking about Jahi due to privacy laws.

“Please don’t give up on my baby because she will wake up,” the girl’s mother, Latasha “Naila” Winkfield, said at a prayer vigil Wednesday, according to NBC Bay Area. “I don’t have any doubt she will wake up. Doctors don’t know. God has the final say.”

Sealey said the family still believes Jahi could wake up – and they want to spend Christmas with her in her hospital room, whether she is conscious or not.

“We want to bring up a little tree and bring up the presents she wants,” Sealey told the News Thursday. “We are going to try our hardest and fight as hard as we can to make sure she’s here for Christmas.”

Despite the grim prognosis, and the doctors recommendation to take her off life support, Sealey said the family is hopeful Jahi will recover. The family held a prayer vigil Wednesday night and has held a near-constant bedside vigil with the unresponsive teen.

“We’ve been on the defensive from day one, fighting to keep her here,” he said. “We want to allow time for her to heal, to see what our options are before we make any irreversible decisions.”

sgoldstein@nydailynews.com


Health – NY Daily News

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