Life support extended for girl declared brain dead after tonsil surgery

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OAKLAND, Calif. (CNN) – The family of a 13-year-old girl on life support says it will never stop fighting to save her life.

A court order has stopped an Oakland Hospital from taking 13-year-old Jahi McMath off the machines.

She’s been on life support since suffering complications from surgery to treat her sleep apnea.

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Jahil was declared brain dead on Dec. 12 but remained connected to life support machines.

However, those machines were scheduled to be disconnected on Monday.

Naliah Winkfield, Jahi’s mother, said, “Think about that, if somebody told you on this day at this time your child is going to die. And that’s what I’ve been going through all day, all week, thinking, ‘God help me, because I do not want Dec. 30 at 5 p.m. to come.”

According to KTVU, that deadline is now Jan. 7.

A judge extended the restraining order by about a week, preventing Jahi from being taken off life support until that time.

An independent review showed that Jahi did not respond to a variety of stimuli but her mother says she does respond to her.

Winkfield said, “How can she be dead if her heart beats, she has blood flowing through her system and she responds to my touch and my voice?”

The hospital says federal law prevents it from commenting directly on Jahi’s condition.

Sam Singer, a spokesperson for the hospital, said, “There is such an effect called the ‘Lazarus reflex’ or ‘Lazarus effect’ and it is quite common in the deceased for their muscles to move. That is not unusual, shocking nor is it a sign of life in the body of Jahi McMath.”

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