Jahi McMath, 13, went into the hospital for a tonsillectomy to address sleep apnea, among other issues. After heavy bleeding she was declared brain dead Dec. 12, three days after her surgery. Though the hospital and multiple doctors have said she is brain dead, the family has battled in court to keep her on a ventilator.
The last court order keeping her on life support was set to expire at 5 p.m. PT on Dec. 30, but at the last minute the judge extended it until Jan. 7. The family has been trying to find a facility that would take Jahi McMath, but it's a very complicated situation. Two possibilities in California fell through, and the family has indicated they are trying to coordinate efforts with a New York facility.
The tragic story of Jahi McMath has sparked intense buzz online. Most everybody fees sad for the family in this shocking turn. However, many feel that they need to accept that Jahi is gone. Many point out that no person truly declared brain dead has ever recovered. Many others, however, continue to support the family's efforts to keep the teen on life support.
Due to privacy laws, Children's Hospital Oakland is unable to address the family's claims about Jahi McMath's condition specifically. Dr. Paul Fisher of Stanford University has examined Jahi, and documentation filed with the court reveals Fisher's determinations. He says she has “irreversible brain injury and now complete absence of cerebral function and complete absence of brainstem function," and he determined that the "child meets all criteria for brain death.”
For now, the battle for the family continues as the family has been given another week to try to either come to terms with Jahi McMath's death, or coordinate care with another facility.