Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who suffered from a brain injury and has been on life support since receiving a routine tonsillectomy a little less than a month ago, will be kept alive until January 7, a court decided this week. After an extensive battle with the hospital that has been arguing in favor of removing the teen from her ventilator, Jahi's suffering family considers this a small and bittersweet victory. The upcoming week will be a sad but busy one for family members, as they prepare to make arrangements to have Jahi moved from the hospital to an extended-care facility.
Although hospital officials consider Jahi legally dead and have given up on any hope of her recovering from her condition, the girl's relatives refuse to accept this and are planning on continuing the fight for her life. Jahi was first admitted to a hospital in California to undergo voluntary tonsil surgery. Shortly after her procedure, the teen was found to be suffering from a heart attack and excessive blood loss. She was rushed to the ICU, but doctors were unable to prevent over two-thirds of her brain from swelling due to oxygen deprivation.
For weeks, Jahi's family members have been hard at work raising $20,000 in donations to have the girl air-lifted and transported to a long-term care facility in New York. Her grandmother says the teen has started to move her legs in response to her relatives' voices, though hospital officials insist it is pretty common for recently deceased patients to spontaneously move their limbs.
I understand the hospital is just trying to apply logic and science to a situation that is infused with emotion. But Jahi's family members have the right to take this next step in their quest to discover whether there is any hope at all left for Jahi. I can't imagine choosing to officially end my child's life if any part of me suspects she may not be dead.
The next few weeks will continue to be rough for this young girl's family. I hope they receive the answers they need in order to make the right next step -- whatever that may be.
How do you feel about the court's decision to extend Jahi's time in the hospital?
Image via steakpinball/Flickr