Girl declared legally brain-dead after routine tonsil surgery
In a shocking and sad incident, a young Northern Californian girl was declared brain-dead just days after having her tonsils surgically removed. Online tabloids reported Sunday that 13-year-old girl Jahi McMath is declared legally brain-dead and the girl is now placed on a ventilator.
News reports say McMath along with her mother Nailah Winkfield arrived at Oakland Children’s Hospital last week to undergo the routine surgery to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. But the little girl suffered disturbing complications during her recovery.
Winkfield said she had taken her daughter for the tonsil-removal surgery to help her with her sleep apnea. According to her, McMath was nervous at the time of surgery but she assured her that everything would turn out all right after the tonsillectomy.
“She smiled when she walked in this hospital and I told her this surgery is to make you better,” KGO-TV reported Winkfield as saying.
McMath walked in the hospital Monday and was expected to be released on Tuesday. As per tabloid reports, she spent Tuesday on a ventilator, but on Wednesday doctors overseeing her found swelling in her brain, and on Thursday they declared her legally brain-dead.
The girl reportedly braved the operation successfully but in recovery she started bleeding from her nose and mouth.
“My daughter had actual clots sliding out of her mouth and they gave me a cup and said, ‘here catch them with the cup so we can measure them,'” Daily Mail cited Winkfield as telling ABC 7.
The little girl’s grandmother Sandra Chatman who is a surgical nurse at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland said she was surprised by the inadequate care and attention given by hospital staff to the ailing patient who was clearly suffering serious complications.
“I went in and I said ‘is this normal, do you guys find this to be normal?’ And they said ‘I don’t really know,’ and I said ‘well then get a doctor,'” Chatman said.
“I was the last one to see Jahi,’ said Chatman. ‘I said, “Somebody help my baby please!” And they came in and starting working on her. The next thing I know, the doctor said, “Oh no, she doesn’t have a heart rate anymore,”‘ said the grandma.
The child had lapsed into cardiac arrest, but was resuscitated by hospital staff. Now the girl is on life support, while her family tries to understand what went wrong.
The Oakland Tribune reported Sunday that the grieving family is planning to the girl in hospital as long as her heart is beating. “As long as she has a pulse, we want her on life support,” Omari Sealy, McMath’s uncle said. “We want her to come home for Christmas. We want to give her presents. We want a chance for a Christmas miracle.”
“It’s shock, it’s disbelief. You never think something like this will happen to you,” he said.
Meanwhile, a hospital spokeswoman has stated that the hospital authority would investigate what happened to the girl.