This is what happened to 13-year-old Jahi McMath, whose family believed their daughter was going in for a “routine” tonsillectomy.
Prior to the surgery, Jahi had an eerie premonition, which she told her mother about. She felt she would not wake up after the surgery. But to everyone’s relief, she did. Jahi appeared alert, she was talking and even ate a Popsicle afterward.
But half an hour later, while Jahi was in the recovery room, things went terribly wrong.
Despite efforts by hospital staff and her family, Jahi began bleeding from her mouth and nose, and the bleeding became profuse. Family members said there were containers of Jahi’s blood in the room, which hospital staff members used to provide transfusions to counteract the blood loss.
“I don’t know what a tonsillectomy is supposed to look like after you have it, but that blood was un-normal for anything,” her mother, Nailah Winkfield said.
With her family and hospital staff trying to help and comfort her, Jahi eventually went into cardiac arrest, according to her mother.
Now, after their daughter’s surgery proved anything but routine, doctors declared Jahi brain-dead and told the family they want to remove her from life support.
The family filed a request Friday for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the hospital from taking Jahi off life support or any of her other current treatment. The judge ruled in their favor, stating the teen should remain on the ventilator.
A shallow victory considering…
A seeming cold statement issued to the court by the hospital states,
“Ms. McMath is dead and cannot be brought back to life.”
“Children’s is under no legal obligation to provide medical or other intervention for a deceased person.”
At the hearing later, the hospital’s attorney, Doug Straus, said two doctors unaffiliated with the hospital examined Jahi and concluded that she was brain dead. But he said, “We’re happy to cooperate with the judge’s suggestion that an independent expert be provided to confirm yet again that brain death is the outcome that has occurred here.”
The family’s attorney, Christopher Dolan, said the family wanted independent tests of their own because they do not believe the hospital’s physicians are sufficiently independent.
“There is mistrust and there is a conflict of interest,” he said.
Judge Grillo said he would grant the restraining order in hopes that a resolution could be reached by Christmas to give the family peace of mind.
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