Jahi McMath will Receive Honorary Diploma

NRL News Today

June 13, 2014   Brain Death

Jahi McMath will receive honorary diploma today

By Dave Andrusko

Jahi McMath and mom

A nice ending…

Earlier this week, NRL News Today posted about the request of the family of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old Oakland girl declared brain-dead in December, that she receive a diploma.

The Oakland Tribune reported that following a meeting Wednesday between E.C. Reems Academy of Technology and Arts administrators and lawyers for Jahi’s family, the teenager will receive a honorary diploma at her school’s eighth grade graduation today.

David DeBolt and Jane Tyska wrote that E.C. Reems Principal Lisa Blair said the school “wanted to do something for Jahi because she’s a family member of ours.” Bair added, “We had planned to do something and just needed some clarification around it.”

“Sealey said a family member will accept the diploma from the East Oakland school on behalf of Jahi,” DeBolt and Tyska reported.

Omari Sealey, her uncle, had gone on social media to complain about the lack of recognition for his niece. Posting on Facebook Tuesday, the family said Jahi “should be graduating from the 8th grade this month but it may not be possible for her to make it to the ceremony, as she is fighting to recover.” The post then said Jahi “deserves to receive the graduation certificate as she has completed most of the 8th grade work.”

Jahi had attended the charter school ever since kindergarten.

But that all changed, following the Wednesday meeting.

Jahi has been on a ventilator since going into cardiac arrest following December 9 surgery to remove her tonsils and clear tissue from her nose and throat. She was diagnosed as brain-dead three days later and the legal battle began when Oakland Children’s Hospital sought to remove Jahi from a ventilator over the family’s vigorous objections.

A compromise was reached in early January during a hearing before Alameda Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo. It allowed Nailah Winkfield to remove her daughter from the hospital as long as she assumed full responsibility. Hospital spokesman Sam Singer vigorously disagreed but Jahi was moved to a still unidentified facility.

In that late March story about Winfield, Fernandez began by quoting Winkfield who said of her daughter.

“She’s still asleep. I don’t use the word ‘brain dead’ for my daughter. I’m just waiting and faithful that she will have a recovery. She is blossoming into a teenager before my eyes.”

Please join those who are following me on Twitter at twitter.com/daveha. Send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com.

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