Brain dead girl Jahi McMath taken out of Children's Hospital of Oakland

a a a a
Share this story

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The 13-year-old California girl declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy has been taken out of Children's Hospital of Oakland, her family's attorney said late Sunday.

Jahi McMath left the hospital in a private ambulance shortly before 8 p.m. Sunday, Christopher Dolan told The Associated Press.

She was taken by a critical care team while attached to a ventilator but without a feeding tube, Dolan said. Her destination was not immediately disclosed.

"It was a very tense situation," said Dolan. "Everybody played by the rules."

David Durand, the hospital's Chief of Pediatrics, said the girl was released to the coroner. The coroner then released her into the custody of her mother, Nailah Winkfield, as per court order, Durand said in an email.

On Friday Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo said Jahi could be transferred under an agreement with Children's Hospital and the girl's mother will be held accountable for developments that could include Jahi going into cardiac arrest.

The Alameda County coroner's office issued a death certificate for the girl Friday but said the document is incomplete because no cause of death has been determined pending an autopsy.

"They may have issued one but we don't have it. We don't think she's dead," Dolan said. "We got all the necessary legal paperwork in order to get Jahi out of there."

A court injunction prohibiting Children's Hospital from removing the ventilator that has kept Jahi's heart pumping since her Dec. 9 surgery expires at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Dolan wouldn't specify where the girl was taken but he said "they are going to care for her, respect her and love her. And they're going to call her Jahi, not `the body.'"

After spending weeks in a very public and tense fight with the hospital, Jahi's family does not plan to disclose any more about their plans for her continued care until she is resettled, her uncle, Omari Sealey, told reporters on Friday.

The hospital has argued since before Christmas that Jahi's brain death means she is legally dead and she should be disconnected from the ventilator. It also has refused to fit her with a feeding tube or a breathing tube that would help stabilize her during a move, saying it was unethical to perform medical procedures on a dead person.

Winkfield, refusing to believe her daughter is dead as long as her heart is beating, has gone to court to stop the machine from being disconnected. She has wanted to transfer Jahi to another facility and hoped to force Children's Hospital either to insert the tubes or to allow an outside doctor to do the procedures.

Grillo on Friday rejected the family's move to have the hospital insert the tubes, noting the girl could be moved with the ventilator and intravenous fluid lines she has now. He also refused to compel the hospital to permit an outside doctor perform the procedures on its premises.

Dolan said Friday the family has located an unaffiliated physician to put in the tubes and that an outpatient clinic in New York that treats people with traumatic brain injures has expressed willingness to care for Jahi.

Jahi went into cardiac arrest while recovering from surgery to remove her tonsils, adenoids and uvula along with bony structures from her nose and throat and palate tissue. Three doctors have declared the girl brain dead based on exams and tests showing no blood flow or electrical activity in either her cerebrum or the brain stem that controls breathing.

Multiple outside doctors and bioethicists observing the case have confirmed that a patient in that condition meets the legal criteria for death and has no chance of recovering.

The judge earlier this week ordered Children's Hospital to keep Jahi on the ventilator until Jan. 7 at 5 p.m. He said Friday that he would dissolve the injunction as soon as Winkfield assumes custody of her daughter's body.

Hospital spokesman Sam Singer said that if the girl is not transferred by the deadline, her family would have to seek an extension or the ventilator would be removed.

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More National News
Man charged with marathon hoax due in court
Man charged with marathon hoax due in court

A man who authorities say was taken into custody near the Boston Marathon finish line carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker on the…

Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies

Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be…

Dress codes: Where should schools set limits?
Dress codes: Where should schools set limits?

They're called leggings - popular fashion items that are tight-fitting pants to some, and glorified tights to others.

Boston PD safely blow up suspicious backpacks
Boston PD safely blow up suspicious backpacks

Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that…

Americans to spend $2.26 billion on Easter candy
Americans to spend $2.26 billion on Easter candy

From chocolate bunnies to yellow marshmallow Peeps, sugary Easter confectionery treats this year in the U.S. are projected to be $2.26…

Police: Mom admitted to killing her 6 babies
Police: Mom admitted to killing her 6 babies

Megan Huntsman was clear about what she did with six of her newborn babies.

Family, friends remember Kansas shooting victims
Family, friends remember Kansas shooting victims

William Lewis Corporon was taking his grandson to a singing audition at a community center. Terri LaManno was visiting her mother at a nearby…

Tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing
Tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

The anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings was marked with a solemn wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday morning, the first tribute in a day…

Questions remain after Boston Marathon bombings
Questions remain after Boston Marathon bombings

A surveillance video shows a man prosecutors say is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev placing a bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, just yards…

US Airways tweets graphic nude photo, apologizes
US Airways tweets graphic nude photo, apologizes

US Airways posted a message on Twitter that contained a graphic image in response to a passenger Monday afternoon.