Family of Girl Declared Brain-Dead Says She Is Moving & Very Much Alive

The family of a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain-dead after she suffered from complications resulting from a tonsillectomy has threatened to sue if the state does not agree to void her death certificate. They say Jahi McMath, who has been on life support for nearly one year, is still very much alive.

Jahi's family says the teen has been responding to her mother's voice. In an effort to plead their case, lawyers are planning to show video at a news conference of Jahi following her mother's requests to move her body.


You may remember there was a great deal of controversy surrounding Jahi's family's decision to keep her alive after doctors declared the eighth grader brain-dead on December 12. Instead of keeping the girl on life support for an unspecified length of time, the hospital reached a compromise with the teen's mom, Nailah Winkfield: she could remove her from the facility, as long as she took full responsibility for her care. Part of their agreement called for the release of a death certificate and for Winkfield to bring Jahi's body back to the hospital if her organs failed.

It's unclear where Jahi is receiving care, but according to her mom, she is moving and responding to her requests. A neurologist is expected to discuss at a news conference how Jahi's brain suffered damage but still registers activity. Evidence from her MRI and EEG tests will prove the girl is not brain-dead, according to the family's attorney.

More from The Stir: Parents of Girl 'Brain Dead' After Tonsil Surgery Fight Hospital to Keep Her Alive

Maybe the death certificate is just a piece of paper to the state. But to this family, it means everything. Having that certificate revoked will help restore their faith in this young girl's progress. Nobody knows her like her mom, who has stuck by her side for months and never gave up hope. If she noticed her daughter's condition improving -- and if doctors can back up her claims -- there is no reason not to throw out the death certificate.

Do you think the death certificate should be revoked or do you feel like this family should let go of the matter?


Image via kate hiscock/Flickr

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