After undergoing a routine tonsil surgery, tragedy struck for the family of an Oaklanad, California girl who is now on life support.
Jahi McMath, 13, underwent what is normally a routine surgery, to remove her tonsils in order to help with her sleep apnea and then tragedy struck.
After waking up from her tonsil surgery and being moved to a recovery room, tragedy hit the 13-year-old when she began to bleed profusely from the nose and mouth.
McMath’s mother, Nailah Winkfield feared something was going horribly wrong as she watched her child sitting up in her hospital bed holding a cup full of blood.
Winkfield asked nurses repeatedly if this was normal.
The hospital staff worked to help the young girl and tried to keep her calm, while she bled for the next few hours. Afterwards Jahi went into cardiac arrest, her mother says. She was declared brain dead on December 12.
The hospital in which the tragic tonsil surgery took place now wants to disconnect her from life support, the family says. However, their lawyer Christopher Dolan has denied permission and is trying to keep Jahi on a ventilator through the holidays.
The family of the tonsil surgery victim is seeking a second opinion to review their daughter’s tragic situation. A court hearing was set for Friday.
Even though the hospital cannot comment on the case officials say the family is not allowing Jahi to be disconnected from a ventilator that is keeping her alive.
Dr. David Durand, the hospital’s pediatrics chief, wrote a statement about Jahi’s case:
“We implore the family to allow the hospital to openly discuss what has occurred and to give us the necessary legal permission — which it has been withholding — that would bring clarity, and we believe, some measure of closure and deeper understanding of this medical case.”
In an interview at Children’s Hospital Oakland on Thursday, Jahi’s mother described the events that resulted in tragedy, after her daughter’s tonsil surgery.
The distraught mom recalls that before the surgery her daughter was afraid she would not wake up from the procedure, but the family was relieved when she appeared alert, was talking, and even enjoyed a Popsicle afterwards.
Jahi began bleeding from her mouth and nose, despite efforts from hospital staff to help her. While still bleeding, the girl wrote notes to her mother, one of them asked that her nose be wiped, because she felt it running.
The family says the hospital wants to take the girl off life support quickly after the tragic tonsil surgery.
“I just looked at the doctor to his face and I told him you better not touch her,” Winkfield said.
Dr. Cristobal Barrios, an associate professor and a trauma and critical care surgeon at the University of California, Irvine said there are several test that the hospital can run to confirm that the girl is brain dead.
On Friday, a judge ordered the hospital to keep Jahi on life support following what was supposed to be a routine tonsil surgery.
After the family sought a court order to prevent the hospital from disconnecting the ventilator, Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ruled the girl was to be kept alive.
Both sides in the case agreed to talk and chose a neurologist to examine 13-year-old Jahi McMath and determine her condition. The judge scheduled a hearing Monday to appoint a physician in the tragic tonsil surery.