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Tonsil surgery tragedy: Mom speaks about brain-dead 13-year-old, judge rules

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The tonsil surgery tragedy following a routine tonsillectomy to cure a 13-year-old’s sleep apnea has a mom fighting for her daughter. As of Friday, the tonsil surgery tragedy is playing out in court. “This child is warm. She is soft to the touch. If you rub her foot, her foot curls in. The mother has yelled in her ear, and the daughter has lifted up her arms,” says the 13-year-old brain-dead girl’s family attorney, according to a Dec. 20, 2013, NBC Bay Area news report.

“God’s gonna help me find out the truth,” says the 13-year-old girl’s mom when speaking about her daughter’s tonsil surgery tragedy.

On Friday, a judge ordered a temporary restraining order to prevent doctors at Oakland Children's Hospital from taking 13-year-old Jahi McMath off life support. However, during Friday’s hearing, Jahi McMath’s family and doctors agreed to consult an independent neurologist to further examine the brain-dead girl and to determine her condition. Until then, Jahi McMath is to remain on a ventilator and will continue to receive intravenous fluids.

“I won’t let them take her to the coroner’s office,” says Jahi McMath’s mom about her brain-dead daughter. “They owe her another chance.”

When Jahi went into the hospital on Monday for her tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy to cure her sleep apnea, doctors told her family that this would be an "in and out procedure."

However, about 45 minutes after having had her tonsil surgery, the already alert, talking, and eating a Popsicle 13-year-old girl began bleeding from her mouth and nose while in the intensive care unit. "I don't know what a tonsillectomy is supposed to look like after you have it, but that blood was un-normal for anything," said Jahi’s mom.

"It was normal," said one of the nurses.

When Jahi’s grandmother, who is a nurse at another hospital, asked several times for a doctor, she was given a bigger container instead so that Jahi could bleed into it. According to court documents, Jahi ended up suffering a heart attack, “fell into a comatose state,” and was declared brain dead by doctors.

According to court documents, while some doctors at the Children’s Hospitals were “very compassionate,” other staff members treated Jahi’s family coldly and insisted that if the ventilator would be removed, Jahi would “die within a minute or two.”

Jahi’s uncle told the Daily News that doctors at the Oakland Children’s Hospital said that they wanted “the body” out of the hospital room as soon as possible because the 13-year-old was “dead, dead, dead.”

“In the meeting we requested a feeding tube and they told us ‘we don’t feed the dead,’” Omari Sealey told the News late Thursday after the distraught family had a meeting with Dr. David Durand, the hospital’s head of pediatrics. “They didn’t refer to her as a patient, they called her ‘a body.’ It was by far the coldest and most heartless meeting we’ve had.”

During Friday’s hearing, Jahi’s mom pleaded to the judge to have compassion for her daughter’s tonsil surgery tragedy. “She is alive. I believe in God and that He can heal all. God created Jahi. He can save her. Help me, please."

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