East Bay News

Family of Jahi McMath in legal fight with Children's Hospital

Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Jahi McMaths uncle Omari Sealey and family attorney Christopher Dolan. Childrens Hospital Oakland. Jahi McMaths mother Nailah Winkfield A judge has extended an order continuing Jahi McMaths life support until 5 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2014.

There are new accusations and a new legal fight Tuesday evening in the battle between Children's Hospital Oakland and the family of a 13-year-old girl left brain dead after a tonsil surgery nearly three weeks ago.

This comes one day after an Alameda County judge ordered Jahi McMath be kept on a ventilator for one more week.

McMath's mother spends her time by her daughter's bedside looking for signs of life, hoping for another day.

"Because, I look at her and I feel like, as her mother, I'm supposed to be able to help her. And this hospital has my hands tied," said Jahi's mother Nailah Winkfield.

In the meantime, the battle over the brain dead teen's future is squarely in the hands of the lawyers and perhaps, a federal appeals court.

"So, this is a constantly changing game for these folks and it's not a game for Jahi," said McMath family lawyer Christopher Dolan.

McMath's family and Children's Hospital Oakland have both filed legal briefs in local and federal court.

The family says they have identified a facility in New York, called New Beginnings, which is willing to take Jahi on a ventilator. They've even raised more than $30,000 on a crowd-funding website to pay for air transport across the country.

But first, the family says any facility willing to accept Jahi McMath requires both a tracheotomy and a feeding tube procedure performed on the girl, something the hospital continues to refuse to do.

"What the family attorney is demanding is for surgery to be done, for anesthesia to be applied to someone who is deceased, that's just not done," said Children's Hospital Oakland spokesperson Sam Singer.

"Pretty much we want Children's Hospital to either help us or get out of our way," said Jahi's Uncle Omari Sealey.

Late Monday, an Alameda County Superior Court judge ordered Children's Hospital Oakland to keep McMath on a ventilator through January 7, 2014. That is also when a hearing is set in federal court.

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oakland, children, children's hospital oakland, east bay news, laura anthony
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