SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

December 23, 2013

Mom pleads to keep girl on life support

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The mother of a California girl declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy pleaded for prayers and time to keep her daughter on a ventilator past today, when a temporary restraining order barring a hospital from disconnecting life support expires.

“Despite what they say, she is alive. I can touch her, she is warm. She responds to my touch,” Nailah Winkfield wrote about 13-year-old Jahi McMath Saturday.

“Given time, I know (God) will spark her brain awake,” she wrote in the open letter.

Children’s Hospital of Oakland’s responded in a statement that while it sympathizes with Winkfield’s wishes, “it would be unfair to give false hope that Jahi will come back to life.”

Winkfield said her daughter bled profusely and went into cardiac arrest after undergoing a “simple procedure” to remove her tonsil to help with her sleep apnea. She criticized the hospital for initially giving her a cup, then a “bigger bucket” as her daughter continued to bleed in a recovery room.

“They did not answer our pleas for a doctor. Her surgeon never came back,” Winkfield wrote.

Jahi was declared brain dead on Dec. 12.

The hospital statement contends the surgery was complicated, and that it was committed to fully investigating what caused “this catastrophic outcome.”

A judge ruled Friday to keep Jahi on a ventilator and continue giving her intravenous fluids through today, when a court-approved neurologist will examine the girl for any signs of brain activity.

The family’s attorney, Christopher Dolan, told Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo the family wanted independent tests because they do not believe the hospital’s physicians are sufficiently independent.

The hospital said in documents presented to the court Friday that a staff neurologist and Jahi’s attending physician conducted separated exams, both of which determined that Jahi’s entire brain, including her brain stem, stopped functioning.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Superior officers still without a contract

    BEVERLY -- Contract negotiations between the city and the Beverly Police Superior Officers Association remain at an impasse nearly three years after their last agreement expired. The two sides have met with a mediator several times, including last Fr

    April 18, 2014

  • Lederman decides against vying for school board seat

    MARBLEHEAD -- Controversial former school board member Jonathan Lederman has decided to abandon his quest to regain a seat on the committee. "I was -- for the record -- a reluctant candidate," he said. But he feels that on the heels of announcing hi

    April 18, 2014

  • Danvers won't have farmers market this year

    DANVERS -- The Rotary Club has withdrawn its proposal to open a farmers market downtown, saying the idea needs more time to take root. Instead, they hope to return to selectmen next year with a more comprehensive plan. "It wasn't an easy decision by

    April 18, 2014

  • North Shore residents to run in 2014 Boston Marathon

    The Salem News asked those on the North Shore who are running this year's Boston Marathon to share their reasons for running. 

    If you're running the marathon this year, it's not too late to share why you're running. Send a brief paragraph, a photo of yourself and a link to your fundraising site (if applicable) to Cheryl Richardson at crichardson@salemnews.com.

    April 17, 2014

  • chesskid Brace yourself, 'Salem' is now a TV show SALEM -- Ready or not, here comes "Salem." On Sunday night at 10, WGN American will debut its new series about the Salem Witch Trials, an attempt by a largely regional cable station to grab a national audience. The show has been much ballyhooed as th

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos