Tonsillectomy Brain Dead Girl's Family Hopes to Spend Christmas With Her

Image: Tonsillectomy Brain Dead Girl's Family Hopes to Spend Christmas With Her Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath, sits with her husband, Martin Winkfield, left, while attending a court hearing to discuss the treatment of 13-year-old daughter Jahi McMath in Oakland, Calif.

Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 02:02 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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The family of a 13-year-old girl declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy took a tragic turn hopes to spend Christmas with her at the hospital after a court order that the hospital keep her connected to a ventilator, The Associated Press reported.

Jahi McMath went to Children’s Hospital in Oaklandin for the surgery, which doctors have said was more complicated than the usually simple procedure, but ended up on life support. Doctors want to remove her from the ventilator that maintains her life, but the family objected, petitioning the courts to stop the hospital from removing the device.

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A doctor examined the girl Monday and did an EEG to determine if there’s blood flow in McMath’s brain, and will report to the courts, the AP said. The family also asked for an independent evaluation by a professor who wrote “Beyond Brain Death,” Paul Byrne.

McMath’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, told CNN that she will keep fighting to keep her daughter on life support.

“I'm her mother. I'm going to support her. It's my job to do it. Any mother would do it,” Winkfield told CNN's “The Lead.” “I just want her to have more time. There are so many stories of people waking up in her situation.”

Doctors contend McMath will not wake up and has no brain activity.

"We have the deepest sympathy for Jahi's mother, who wishes her daughter was alive; but the ventilator cannot reverse the brain death that has occurred and it would be wrong to give false hope that Jahi will ever come back to life," a hospital statement quoted by CNN said.

Wakefield also told CNN that she hasn’t gotten a good explanation from the hospital officials about why her daughter’s surgery ended in such tragedy.

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