The mother of a brain-dead teen said her daughter is doing "much better" under the care of doctors at a long-term care facility. Jahi McMath, age 13, was declared brain-dead in December 2013. However, her family refuses to believe she is dead. Her mother, Nailah Winkfield, has faith that the teen will eventually recover.
In 2013, Jahi was diagnosed with pediatric obstructive sleep apnea, which causes patients to stop breathing while they sleep. Doctors determined the condition was caused by excess tissue in the teen's throat and sinuses.
On December 9, 2013, Jahi underwent surgery at the Oakland Children's Hospital to correct the condition. The procedure included removal of her adenoids, tonsils, and surround tissue. Following the surgery, Winkfield said Jahi was alert and asked for a popsicle.
Moments later, the teen began to bleed profusely. Although the doctors attempted to stop the bleeding, Jahi went into cardiac arrest. Three days later, the teen was declared brain-dead.
As reported by HLN, Jahi's doctors wanted the life support removed. Numerous tests have revealed that there is no blood flow or electrical activity within the teen's brain or brain stem. Refusing to believe the diagnosis, Jahi's family eventually sought the opinion of several independent doctors.
Every doctor who examined the teen reached the same conclusion. Her brain and brain stem were irrevocably damaged. Despite the diagnosis, Winkfied was not willing to give up.
The brain-dead teen's story reached national headlines, as the Oakland Children's Hospital fought turn off the life-support and declare Jahi dead.
Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo eventually ruled that Jahi McMath is legally dead. However, a long-term facility agreed to transport the teen's body and continue life-support. Although their offer was strongly criticized, Jahi was eventually transferred to the facility.
Following the transfer, Winkfield chose to withdraw from the public spotlight "for reasons of safety and privacy." She spent the last month focusing on he daughter's care.
On Wednesday, Winkfield broke her silence. In a Facebook post, she provided an update about her daughter's condition:
"Despite what people say about my daughter being dead and how I must be ignorant not to get that, I can tell you that she is much better physically since she has left Children's Hospital and I see changes that give me hope."Winkfield also expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support she has received throughout her ordeal:
"I am truly grateful for the amount of love and support my daughter Jahi McMath and I have received from people all over the world. We feel your prayer and support."Although she received stark criticism for keeping her brain-dead teen hooked up to life support, Winkfield is still praying for a miracle.
[Images via Facebook]