Update: Jahi McMath at New Care Facility

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Jahi McMath has become a subject of national debate after her family refused to agree with an East Bay hospital's declaration that she is legally dead.
Jahi McMath has become a subject of national debate after her family refused to agree with an East Bay hospital's declaration that she is legally dead.

Bay City News Service — A 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after suffering complications from a tonsillectomy at Children's Hospital Oakland last month has arrived at a new care facility, her uncle and a family attorney said.

The family of Jahi McMath is optimistic about her new treatment options after her release from the hospital Sunday evening. She was first released into the custody of the Alameda County coroner's bureau and then into the custody of her mother. A death certificate was issued for her on Dec. 12, according to Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson.

Once in their custody, the family went through with arrangements to have Jahi transported to another health care facility Sunday night, Dolan said. A "transfer team" -- that did not include any personnel from Children's Hospital -- oversaw her move from the hospital to an ambulance and eventually to the new facility, Children's Hospital spokesman Sam Singer said.

 The facility is somewhere in the U.S. but Dolan would not say where. Dolan said that at the new facility, Jahi is being treated as a "human being" instead of a body, which is how the family viewed Children's Hospital's treatment of Jahi. She is being given antibiotics for infections she has from bedsores and other nutrients, Dolan said. "She laid in the bed and they wouldn't help her," Dolan said about Children's Hospital's treatment of Jahi.

 Singer said that Jahi is deceased and the hospital does not treat dead bodies. "No amount of antibiotics, nutrition...is going to bring back her life," Singer said. "It is heartless and reckless for (Dolan) to say otherwise."

 Jahi had been at Children's Hospital since Dec. 9 when she went in for a tonsillectomy to help with a sleep apnea problem. There were complications after the procedure that resulted in heavy bleeding, and she was declared brain dead on Dec. 12.

 The family went to court to obtain a restraining order to allow the family more time before the hospital could remove Jahi from a ventilator. With the extra time, the family arranged for her transfer to another facility, although it was a harrowing process, with five different facilities agreeing to take Jahi and then backing out at the last minute, Dolan said.

 A Catholic organization eventually accepted her for treatment, and there were no complications in the transfer, Dolan said. Her uncle, Omari Sealey, said from Dolan's San Francisco law office Monday morning, "I'm very relieved to have her removed from Children's Hospital." He thanked supporters and those who have donated tens of thousands of dollars to the family.

He said the donations paid for Jahi's transfer. He said Jahi's mother, Nailah Winkfield, is at the facility with her, and other family members are making arrangements to visit her. Sealey said he did not want to give the name or location of the facility because of privacy and safety concerns. He said the family and their attorney have received death threats and other hate mail in the past few weeks as their case gained national attention.

 Dolan said the facility is the "best place she would want to be right now." He said Jahi is now receiving her first medical evaluation in weeks. Sealey, who was there during the transfer, described Jahi as looking "peaceful" and "like she's sleeping."

 A federal court hearing in Oakland remains scheduled for Tuesday afternoon but could be canceled. The issue about extending a temporary restraining order to keep Children's from taking Jahi off a ventilator was immediately moot once Jahi's body was removed from Children's.

 The restraining order was scheduled to last until 5 p.m. Tuesday. Other legal issues about performing a tracheotomy and other surgeries on Jahi for her transfer also became moot once she was released from Children's Hospital, Singer said. Jahi was moved on a ventilator, according to her family.

 Dolan said Tuesday's hearing, if it proceeds, could instead be an opportunity to discuss the "bigger issues" about patient and family rights regarding a brain dead patient that Jahi's situation surfaced.

 Sealey said Jahi's mother was told she had no claim over decisions Children's Hospital made about Jahi's care once she was declared brain dead. According to Sealey, this goes against his family's religious beliefs. Sealey said his sister sounds happier today with Jahi receiving care. "We never backed down," he said.

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

novato 3per January 08, 2014 at 12:46 AM
I know, sad as hell, right, I'm was all in favor of giving the power of prayer a chance to work a miracle, but folks been praying, and bringing that girls spirit back to that body doesn't appear to be the Lord's plan...so it's time to accept, and not misplace your faith in man-made machinery (ventilators, drip tubes, etc..)Don't let her memory turn into some messed up version of the movie "death becomes her". I cringe when the news reports that she is now "being nourished, etc.." - artificially keeping her body technically alive, likely without a soul present anymore, almost an invitation for an evil spirit to come along and move in..I pray the Lord finds an appropriate way to reveal his wishes to the family so they will soon reevaluate. God bless that child in heaven.
Kaylee Carson January 08, 2014 at 12:40 PM
we can't wish people back to life! Terri was not on a vent. she would still be alive today-had they not stopped her nutrition & hydration.
Beverly Lucas January 08, 2014 at 03:17 PM
Any surgical procedure has its risks , my husband almost died after having tonsils removed as he lost so much blood , I believe That Jahi was a heavy child causing sleep apnea , I Think people should have healthy. Eating habits to prevent obesity , this is where the caretaker ( mother ) can help her Child,
Cassandra Chisolm January 08, 2014 at 06:45 PM
I sympathize with the family of this child. I have had to make decision to remove my dear niece from ventilator after she went in for a minor procedure. Being brain dead and being in a coma are 2 totally different things. I observed how testing is done to determine if you are brain dead. My niece had no activity going on in her brain. I wanted her so badly to show some sign, but it never happened. You know you hope and pray so much until you think you are seeing movement and some kind of sign that the heart is beating and this person is going to wake up, be just like she was before this happened. Not so. This is when denial sets in. the doctors talked to me and my niece's husband and told us the results and the options. he and I slept on it, came back to hospital sat down and talked about it. he and I laughed and talked about what great a person she was and we started talking about all the times we had with her. after talking and talking, we decided as much as we loved her we had to let her go. She was 38 years old and passed away July/2010. My niece was gone days before she was pronounced dead. we were just looking at her body, but her spirit had left and she was looking down on us in that hospital room. I thought I saw movement, but then realized I wanted to see this so badly. I cried and cried, begging her to wake up. If she had come back, would she have wanted to live like a vegetable? NO. She was a very outgoing person and full of life. this would have done an injustice to her had we prolonged her life. we took everything in consideration. after family gathered around her to pray and say our goodbyes, the tech came in and removed the ventilator from her. 2 to 3 breaths were released from her and she was pronounced dead within 2-3 minutes after being removed. I cried but I felt she was in a better place. Sometimes we have to let go. "to Jahi mother, I feel your pain, but please hold onto the good memories you have of your child and let her go. She is tired and she wants you to know she is fine and she loves you. She also see how hard you are fighting for her and she loves you for this, but she also want you to rest. " Please think about you may being doing more harm than good in trying to keep her here. she is gone and only God can reverse things now. God is good all the time.
Mary Cossins February 04, 2014 at 12:31 AM
That's right. Brain dead and coma two different things. The only thing keeping jahi's organs going is machines. She's in heaven. Do you think she wants to come back here? Don't think so. Mom and family release her body.


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