Jahi McMath's family is praying for a miracle and searching for a medical facility to house their loved one before time runs out today. Children's Hospital Oakland officials said they will turn off the life support at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 30.
"Barring any other court-order legal action by the family, the ventilator will be shut off at 5 p.m. tomorrow," hospital spokesman Sam Singer announced. "It's tremendously sad, but that's what's going to occur."
The hospital has declared Jahi officially brain dead, but her family believes otherwise and has tried to convince the hospital otherwise while trying to find a new facility to care for her. One was lined up, but that fell through. Now the family is hoping that a hospital in New York may take her and keep her on life support. However, there is a problem given that no doctor at Children's Hospital will insert the necessary breathing and feeding tubes before her transfer.
"Children's Hospital Oakland does not believe that performing surgical procedures on the body of a deceased person is an
appropriate medical practice," David Durand, chief of pediatrics, said in a statement.
"Children's Hospital will of course continue to do everything legally and ethically permissible to support the family of Jahi McMath," Douglas Straus, a lawyer for the hospital said in a letter to the public on Friday. "In that regard, Children's will allow a lawful transfer of Jahi's body in its current state to another location if the family can arrange such a transfer and Children's can legally do so."
Jahi's family is holding out hope that a hospital in New York can take the 13-year-old who was declared brain dead after suffering complications from a routine tonsillectomy on Dec. 9. Since then, they have been engaged in a battle of the wills with Children's Hospital, who declared the girl brain dead and allegedly urged the family to remove her from life support.
"It's our last, last hope. It's an organization that believes in life," family attorney Chris Dolan told the Associated Press.
The McMath family has rallied and refuses to give up on Jahi. They have held several prayer vigils for the teen and called upon people across the nation to continue praying for a miracle.
"Pray, pray, pray," Jahi's stepfather Marvin Winkfield said.