Jahi MacMath, the 13-year-old California girl who was declared brain dead following a tonsillectomy, was moved by ambulance to an undisclosed location on Sunday. Chldren’s Hospital Oakland released a statement Sunday evening saying Jahi’s body was turned over to the coroner who released the body to Jahi’s mother, Latasha Winkfield. A private ambulance was seen leaving the hospital loading dock just after 8:30 p.m., KTVU.com reports.
Jahi’s uncle, Omari Shealey, sent out a tweet at 8:27 p.m. that said, “I told you we’d do it!!! I love you Jahi and I will come visit you soon baby girl. Your Uncle is a BEAST!!!”
CNN reports the body is being flown by private jet to a controversial outpatient brain injury center in New York. The Life & Hope Network, which is run by a former hair stylist, is not licensed to care for a dead person on a ventilator. The center’s website states it provides office spaces for brain injury therapy.
“At this time we’re named as the potential facility that Jahi and her family will be coming to, but we will know more details in a couple of hours, and we’ll certainly be happy to let you know as we know,” said Allyson Scerri, founder of the New Beginnings Community Center in Medford, New York.
Despite being declared brain dead by 5 independent neuro specialists, Scerri insists Jahi needs time to recover.
“Her brain needs time to heal. It’s a new injury,” Scerri told CNN Sunday. “We believe in life after injury, all of us here at New Beginnings have first-hand experience because we have a loved one that was in the same situation as Jahi.”
Jahi underwent surgery on Dec. 9 to remove her tonsils, adenoids, and nasal structures to treat sleep apnea. In the recovery room she began bleeding profusely from the mouth and nose and suffered a cardiac arrest. Jahi was declared brain dead on Dec. 12.
On Friday, the family and the hospital reached an agreement allowing the family to take the body from the hospital.
Alameda Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo had refused to extend a temporary restraining order that was set to expire on Tuesday, Jan. 7, allowing the hospital to remove Jahi from the ventilator that pumped oxygen into her lungs and kept her heart beating.
According to the hospital press release, Jahi was moved from the hospital with a portable ventilator but no feeding tube. There are reports her body was first taken to an undisclosed location where a doctor performed surgeries to insert a feeding tube and tracheostomy.
The family’s lawyer, Christopher Dolan, continues to give the family false hope by insisting Jahi is not dead. In an interview on Sunday Dolan said, “she has not passed. Her kidneys function, she regulates her temperature, and her body moves now more than ever. This is a real human being, not a dead body.”
The hospital disputes Dolan’s assertions.
“Sadly … Mr. Dolan is not being truthful to the public or his clients,” said hospital spokesman Sam Singer. “When he says his ‘medical team’ wants to feed her body so her brain will have the optimum nutrients, he is either being purposely deceptive or ignorant. In either case, he is perpetuating a sad and tragic hoax on the public and the McMath family. Tragically, this young woman is dead, and there is no food, no medical procedures and no amount of time that will bring back the deceased.”
Dolan may be confusing Jahi’s movements for non-purposeful movements often exhibited by brain dead patients called Lazarus Reflexes. In the video below, a brain dead boy exhibits uncontrolled movements of his arms when his head is moved by a doctor. Moving the boy’s head sends signals across his spinal cord that are not received by the brain. Without instructions from the brain, the spinal cord signals misfire causing the uncontrolled movements which the family interprets as a sign of hope that the dead person is recovering.
Caution: do not watch the video if a dead body is disturbing to you.
More from Sandrarose.com: