SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The 13-year-old California girl who was declared brain dead after a surgery is now in a facility where her family can take care of her, a place her uncle says that believes as much they do that she’s alive.
A critical care team took Jahi McMath while she was attached to a ventilator but without a feeding tube on Sunday night from Children’s Hospital Oakland, after a weekslong battle with the hospital over her care.
Her family wouldn’t disclose where she had been taken. Her uncle, Omari Seeley, said Monday that she traveled by ground and that there were no complications in the transfer, suggesting Jahi may be in California.
The new facility has “been very welcoming with open arms. They have beliefs just like ours,” he said. “They believe as we do.”
While the move ends what had been a very public and tense fight with the hospital, it also brings on new challenge: caring for her.
Jahi went into cardiac arrest while recovering from surgery to fix severe sleep apnea, a condition where the sufferer’s breath stops or becomes labored while sleeping. To help her, surgeons removed her tonsils and other parts of her nose and throat.
Three doctors have declared Jahi brain dead based on exams and tests showing no blood flow or electrical activity in either her cerebrum or the brain stem that controls breathing.
This is different from being in a coma when there is brain activity.
Multiple outside doctors and bioethicists observing the case have said a patient in that condition meets the legal criteria for death and has no chance of recovering.
The hospital had wanted to remove Jahi from the ventilator that is keeping her heart pumping, arguing in court that Jahi’s brain death means she is legally dead.
Her mother, Nailah Winkfield, refusing to believe her daughter is dead as long as her heart is beating, had gone to court to stop the machine from being disconnected.
She has wanted to transfer Jahi to another facility and had hoped to force the hospital either to insert the tubes or to allow an outside doctor to do so.
The hospital refused to fit her with a feeding tube or a breathing tube that would help stabilize her during a move. Hospital officials say it was unethical to perform medical procedures on a dead person.
When the hospital refused to do the procedures and after weeks of court battles, the two sides reached an agreement, provided that Winkfield would be held responsible if her daughter went into cardiac arrest.
The hospital released Jahi to the coroner, who then released her into the custody of Winkfield, as per court order.
The family’s lawyer, Christopher Dolan, said Jahi’s condition suffered because of poor nutrition during her hospital stay. “We are very relieved she got safely to where she needed to be,” he said.
“She’s in very bad shape,” he said. “You would be too, if you hadn’t had nutrition in 26 days and were a sick little girl to begin with.”
Dolan asked for privacy for the caregivers.
(AP Photo: This undated file photo provided by the McMath family and Omari Sealey shows Jahi McMath.)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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