Family seeks to move teenager to another facility after judge rules she is brain dead
By Dave Andrusko
Omari Sealey, left, uncle of Jahi McMath, speaks with attorney Christopher Dolan before Thursday’s news conference in front of Children’s Hospital Oakland. Jahi, who has been declared brain dead, remains on life support at the hospital
(Ben Margot / Associated Press / December 19, 2013)
The increasingly bitter battle between the parents of a teenager declared brain dead and the hospital where her routine tonsillectomy went terribly awry December 9 continued yesterday when the family members said they wanted to transfer Jahi McMath to a nursing home they say is willing to continue her care.
The family’s announcement at a press conference Thursday followed the Tuesday decision of Alameda Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo. Based on the independent evaluation of Dr. Paul Fischer that Jahi met the criteria for brain death, Grillo ruled that the 13-year-old could be taken off life support.
On Thursday, Jahi’s uncle, Omari Sealey, told reporters, “Yesterday we spent Christmas together as a family — doing a lot of prayers and trying to have some fun, hoping for a miracle, and looks like we may have gotten our miracle. We found out that someone is willing to take Jahi away from Children’s Hospital to a facility nearby here in the Bay Area to treat her,” Thursday.”
He added, “So right now, we’re asking Children’s Hospital to work with us to make that possible,” he said, referring to Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.
The family did not name the other facility.
Christopher Dolan, the family’s attorney, said that Jahi would need to have breathing and feeding tubes inserted before she could be moved.
“The most logical people are the ones in the hospital where she’s sitting who have the ability to do that,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “If they refuse to do that, and insist upon moving towards this deadline of pulling the plug, then we’ll just continue to do what we’ve been doing.”