Battle over child’s life comes to sudden end when he is removed from ventilator

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ROSEVILLE, Calif. - The battle over a toddler's life has come to a sudden end.

In April, 2-year-old Israel Stinson was rushed to a hospital after suffering a severe asthma attack.

Doctors say Israel fell into a coma and was declared brain-dead by three doctors at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.

However, Israel's parents said they didn't believe that was the case.

"The minute that we come in the room, we say, 'Hey, Israel.' He moves as if he's very happy to be present with us," said Jonee Fonseca, Israel's mother.

Doctors at the hospital say it is not what it seems.

"Unfortunately, Israel's mother, family, and attorneys, all nonmedical professionals, interpret Israel's spinal reflex as a sign his brain may be functioning or even that he is recovering," Dr. Michael Myette said. "They are incorrect. The videos offered by Israel's mother merely show the single ... spinal reflex."

His parents sought a court order to force doctors to perform a tracheotomy and give him a feeding tube.

The family's attorney, Kevin Snider, told FOX 40 that the family remained hopeful after learning that EEG performed on their son in Guatemala proved that there were still brain waves.

"When those were performed by another facility, (they) found that he in fact did have brain waves.  He was not brain dead," Snider said.

However, Israel was admitted Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, where family officials say they did not perform and EEG.

Last week, a court granted a temporary restraining order to keep Israel on a ventilator while the family brought in another neurologist.

"The hospital would not provide an examination for brain death, and so we got permission from the court to bring in the parents' own doctor. The hospital of course did not want that," said Snider.


The hospital filed an appeal that was heard Thursday morning.

According to the Associated Press, the judge said that since the case had already been heard in state and federal court, the restraining order was dissolved.

Fonseca says that Israel's ventilator was turned off at 3 p.m. and the 2-year-old died almost immediately.

Spokesman Lorenzo Benet for Children's Hospital of Los Angeles provided this statement to FOX 40: "Due to health privacy concerns of which we are bound, we cannot comment."


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