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Thread: Family of brain dead California girl battles hospital to keep machines on

  1. #31
    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathie_Moffett View Post
    There's a lot of under-the-radar information floating around the Bay Area, and most people seem to have lost all sympathy for her family and suspect nothing more than a big money grab by the family, including a possible lawsuit. Word is that the child's body is most likely at a local family home, and that the family's claiming that they are trying to have a feeding tube inserted but that Jahi's throat was so damaged (allegedly by the hospital) that it can't be done.
    I figure their real problem with the feeding tube is that her brain can't signal anything to work so any food pumped into her will just sit there and decompose itself. Even if they can't go down her throat (more than likely because of the endotracheal tube with the vent being in the way, not b/c of damage, I would think), I'd guess that they could still put a PEG tube directly into her stomach. The throat damage sounds fishy if that's what they're saying.

    There's talk that they KNOW the body is decomposing and they are putting on this whole charade precisely because they wish to obscure evidence of how their own behavior helped kill the child. Apparently, several different people (including family members) have mentioned the grandmother suctioning Jahi's mouth post-op so that she could eat.
    I've heard that not only did the grandmother suction the throat, but that she was allowed to eat several things and that her family was encouraging her to talk in recovery. Allegedly a nurse discouraged it, telling them that the surgical area was heavily vascularized and that it was dangerous for her to talk or eat, but that the family ignored it and encouraged her anyway.

    Like sluce said earlier in the thread, the hospital hasn't been able to tell their side yet, so it could be enlightening to see their version of events.
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  2. #32
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    She ATE in Recovery? The hospital should have thrown her family out.

    Mel.was that a Catholic hosspital?
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  3. #33
    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    She ATE in Recovery? The hospital should have thrown her family out.
    Supposedly, but it's all conjecture at this point. I think it's been easy to take the family's version because they're the only ones talking, but I'm guessing there's an interesting other side to the story.
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  4. #34
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    Jahi McMath: Family says brain-dead teen's body may be too deteriorated to save



    A day after winning the three-week battle to take their brain-dead daughter from Children's Hospital Oakland, the family of Jahi McMath conceded Monday they are losing the ghastly war against nature.


    Her body, checked in at an undisclosed care facility Monday morning, has deteriorated so badly, that "Right now, we don't know if she's going to make it," said attorney Christopher Dolan.


    "She's in very bad shape," he said. "What I can tell you is that those examinations show that her medical condition, separate from the brain issue, is not good."


    Dolan's frank and sober assessment echoes a Friday legal declaration by Children's Hospital Oakland critical care pediatrician Dr. Heidi R. Flori, who opposed surgical insertion of a feeding tube because the girl's body was deteriorating.


    Brain-dead for 25 days, Jahi has been sustained under court order with a breathing machine and other medical interventions since complications arose after surgery to remove her tonsils and other tissue.


    Until Monday, she had gone without nourishment because the hospital had diagnosed her as legally and medically dead. Dolan said Monday that Jahi is now receiving potassium, minerals and hormones through an IV, in addition to antibiotics.


    But even the best medical tools cannot replace the brain's role in regulating the critical balance of essential hormones, immunity and other chemicals, said Dr. Neal E. Slatkin, a neurologist and chief medical officer at San Jose's Hospice Of The Valley.


    "The brain controls pretty much everything in the body," Slatkin said. "Without it, everything begins to break down."


    A 2000 study by Harvard transplant surgeons, who closely examined donated organs after death, details the changes that occur after brain death, ranging from heart failure to diabetes.


    "The insult" of brain death "evokes profound physiological and structural derangements in the peripheral organs," concluded Dr. Martin Gasser and his team in an Annals of Transplantation paper. Blood and other infections are likely, they wrote.


    What happened to Jahi -- unlike the highly publicized cases involving coma patients Terri Schiavo and Karen Ann Quinlan, who each lingered for more than a decade -- was more than damage to the intellectual and emotional part of her brain, filled with mystery and memories and thoughts.


    She has also lost the far more fundamental part of her brain, the brain stem, which plays a primal role in day-to-day health, regulating the interplay of the heart, lungs and other organs.


    Both Schiavo and Quinlan had intact brain stems that maintained their physical being. Jahi does not.


    There are two major ways that Jahi's brain death -- likely caused by catastrophic bleeding, brain swelling and heart attack, based on family reports -- damages the organs, according to Slatkin and other physicians.


    One is the trauma of the initial injury, called a "sympathetic storm," which triggers a massive stress response -- flooding the bloodstream with chemicals and likely damaging the hypothalamus, a small area at the top of the brain stem that regulates body temperature, appetite and the release of many important hormones.


    The other is the cascade of later complications, like when a computer crashes. Cellular metabolism goes haywire. So do cardiac and lung function. There is often severe hypertension and imbalances of important regulatory hormones.


    Even heroic efforts to sustain her, such as a ventilator, can backfire, said Slatkin.


    "You're applying abnormal pressure to keep the lungs open and functioning, which creates small tears in the lining of the air sacs and bronchial tree, opening up the possibility of infection."


    Every cell in the body is programmed to die, he noted. But the assault of stress hormones, immune dysfunction and massive inflammation accelerates death, he said.


    In her court declaration, Children's Hospital Oakland pediatrician Flori laid out the clear indications that Jahi's body was deteriorating. The tissues under her skin were losing their elasticity, and her muscles were contracting. Her blood pressure spiked but was gradually declining. Blankets were needed to maintain a constant temperature.


    "This deterioration became inevitable the moment she died," Flori said. "Additional and more dramatic signs of the body's deterioration will continue to manifest over time, regardless of any procedures and regardless of any heroic measures that any facility might attempt."



    There's no good data to suggest how long her heart will keep beating. In two other cases involving brain-dead but otherwise healthy young women -- 34-year-old Stacy Rojas, of Dallas, and Christine Bolden, 26, of Detroit -- their bodies were successfully supported for a month, until their babies were born.


    To support the body that they fought so hard to save, Jahi's family has authorized some nutritional support, including potassium, minerals and hormones. She's also getting antibiotics to combat a possible infection.


    But she's not receiving regular feedings due to physical problems that do not allow surgical insertion of a feeding tube, Dolan said. He would not disclose what those issues were but said Jahi was being examined by medical staff at the new facility. He would not disclose its name.


    Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said that while he does not know where Jahi was relocated, it was his understanding that she was taken out of the state. Nelson noted that the autopsy will be required to complete the existing death certificate, and added that Jahi's cause of death will be more difficult to determine the longer her body is kept on a ventilator.


    Relieved that she is now "safely where she needs to be," Jahi's family believes she is still alive, uncle Omari Sealey said Monday.


    "We're not going to play God," he said. "If her heart stops beating while she's hooked to the ventilator, we can accept that."

    Jahi McMath: Family says brain-dead teen's body may be too deteriorated to save - Inside Bay Area

  5. #35
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    You're not going to play God? You already are. Someone recall any Bible passage where God says to keep someone artificially alive after they are already dead. This family is living some fantasy.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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  6. #36
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    That poor,poor baby. Can they not love her enough to let her go?
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  7. #37
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    No. Most people have death be about their own inability to let go. Death really isn't about the person dying most of the time; it's about our selfishness and our unsaid conversations with the dying or deceased.

    My dad died in a hospital and I had to go in, sign paperwork, and take him off a ventilator. I spent 2 hours with him, talked to him, watched him (comatose; he'd had a stroke) breathe only with the aid of a machine and his legs were involuntarily kicking and contracting (I swear, he looked like a Rockette). Then I summoned the nurse, signed the paperwork and left (I could not, at that time, bear to watch him pass away. I now wish I had as I realize now what a privilege it is to be with someone at the end of his/her life.), because I realized the situation was becoming about me and not about what he wanted in his living will, which is not to be artificially kept alive for any reason. When there's no point to it, you do it for them. It's the same thing I do for my animals when they cannot speak for whatever pain they are in. You have to love them more than you love you.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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  8. #38
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    these people are crazy. and what's even more crazy is that there are kooky 'facilities' and asshole lawyers opportunistic enough to take advantage of them and keep this shit show going.
    yes, they lost a child and that's unbelievably difficult and traumatic but lots of people have lost loved ones and know when the time has come to let them go. my mother was there the whole time her brother was dying of cancer and even though it was horribly painful, they were actually relieved when it was over and he wasn't suffering anymore. to prolong this kind of thing is disrespectful of the poor girl and incredibly selfish on the part of her family.
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  9. #39
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    My Dad didn't last more than 5 minutes after my Mother gave the order. We were all around him and the last few seconds he opened those blue eyes and looked at everyone of us and smiled. His eyes fastened on my mother and he was just beaming.
    Then he was gone. It was his last gift to us and I treasure it.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  10. #40
    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    "We're not going to play God," he said. "If her heart stops beating while she's hooked to the ventilator, we can accept that."
    He cannot effing be serious??
    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

  11. #41
    Elite Member DeChayz's Avatar
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    "Right now, we don't know if she's going to make it," said attorney Christopher Dolan.
    I'm going to say she's probably not, since, y'know - she's ALREADY DEAD. For fuck's sake, let this poor girl go!

  12. #42
    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookie View Post
    You're not going to play God? You already are.
    As you said in a subsequent post, it's about their inability to let go, not about Jahi or even about faith at this point, imo. They say that they will not interfere with God's will, but refuse to consider that perhaps it was God's will to take her. Many people of faith believe that when their corporeal body dies, then there is another spiritual life that's awaiting them. They say that this is about faith and God, but cannot accept that perhaps it is better and kinder for her to pass from this world. While the situation is sad and crushing for them, it's a reality that has to be dealt with. At this point it sounds like Jahi is decomposing flesh, and frankly, I can't blame the hospital for not wanting to retain a dead, decomposing body in their facility. At some point it's a health hazard and is taking away resources away from a living, breathing person who has the potential to recover.

    And I know it's beyond crass ask, but I am curious what resources have paid to support this whole ordeal for the last month. A month in a hospital on life support has to be astronomically expensive and no insurance I know of would continue to pay after a body has been deemed dead by a team of doctors, a coroner, the state of California, and a death certificate has been issued.
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    Elite Member Air Quotes's Avatar
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    Jesus McJag that hit me right in the feels.
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  14. #44
    Hit By Ban Bus! rockchick's Avatar
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    This story is just heartbreaking. I can't imagine going through this. If it was me lying there brain dead, I know my family would let me go. It's something I have made clear to everyone who knows me.

    They need to let this poor child go.

  15. #45
    Hit By Ban Bus! rockchick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    I gotta tell you if it were my kid, this statement released by the hospital would have me insane: "We have done everything to assist the family of Jahi McMath in their quest to take the deceased body of their daughter to another medical facility," hospital spokesman Sam Singer said.

    "To date, they have been unwilling or unable to provide a physician to perform the procedures necessary, transportation, or a facility that would accept a dead person on a ventilator. Our hearts and thoughts go out to them in this tragic situation, but the statements being made by their attorney and some family members are misleading and untrue."

    And I don't give a flying FUCK what science says. My child would NOT have been left to rot in THAT fucking place. We kind of had a different kind of experience with what hospitals are willing to do with your family. Shed and I had an uncle who was swimming at Kisatchie Falls and dove, hit a rock with his head and when he'd made it to the hospital, was placed on machines to keep him living. For MONTHS. As he deteriorated and it became obvious to the family that he would never recover, he would never even really live - the HOSPITAL refused to unplug him. Not because they gave a fuck about him but because they had never seen anyone "live" through a brain injury such as he had. Now, mind you, his brain was literally turning to mush where dirty water and such had got in there and they were (supposedly) having to go in and scoop out parts of his brain until there wasn't a whole lot of anything left... BUT, those doctors and that hospital kept him alive as long as they could... the family was begging them to let him go but instead, you get to sit there and watch him deteriorate until there is NOTHING left of him... you have no fucking rights when you get down to this kind of thing with hospitals.
    Holy shit mel. that is so wrong. Speechless here.

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