The family of a 13-year-old California girl is reeling over decision no one ever thought would have to be made: whether or not to take her off life support.
Jahi McMath, who went to Oakland Children’s Hospital to simply have her tonsils and adenoids removed, was supposed to come home last Tuesday, but instead family members are left with the unexpected decision of possibly ending her life, according to KTVU.
Jahi’s surgery was supposed to be a routine procedure, one that is done everyday and rarely met with complications. But after Jahi had her tonsils and adenoids removed last Monday, she began bleeding profusely from her mouth and nose. Jahi’s grandmother, Sandra Jo Chatman, told KTVU she kept asking for help from nurses but says no one would answer her pleas.
It wasn’t until the little girl let out some screams that the nursing staff responded, Chatman claims. “I was the last one to see Jahi,” she says. “I said, ‘Somebody help my baby please!’ And they came in and starting working on her. The next thing I know, the doctor said, ‘Oh no, she doesn’t have a heart rate anymore.’”
Hospital spokesperson Melinda Kreigel says Jahi’s case is under investigation and said the ICU staff is always manned with nurses round the clock.
The McMath family also contend that hospital personnel have been treating them in a disrespectful and callous manner, adding that they feel pressured to make a quick decision about Jahi’s fate. Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, struggled to keep her composure as she talked about her daughter in front of Children’s Hospital Saturday.
“Now you’re saying your family is taking over the hospital,” said Winkfield. “You guys invaded my life!”
Kreigel, however, defends the hospital’s position. She says that the McMath family is not being treated in an ill manner, nor are they being rushed into making any snap decisions about their little girl. Taking Jahi off life support is the family’s decision to make, she added.
But Jahi’s mother is still in shock over her daughter’s health, given that the procedure she went in for was suppose to be a simple one.
“(They) told me my daughter would be home on Tuesday and now you tell me she’ll never come home again!” Winkfield said.