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The mother of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, who has been declared brain dead by doctors at Children's Hospital Oakland following a tonsil surgery Dec. 9, released an emotional letter to the public Saturday.

Nialha Winkfield, of Oakland, pleaded for prayers, time and the public's support to keep her daughter on life support past Monday, when a temporary restraining order issued by a judge would expire. She said her daughter responds to her touch and is warm.

She criticized the hospital in the moments that Jahi began bleeding following the surgery, saying they gave her a "bucket" to contain the blood. She said her daughter was nervous before surgery and regrets not listening to her concerns.

This Dec. 18, 2013 photo shows Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath, 13, as she speaks to reporters after the family held a prayer vigil for her
This Dec. 18, 2013 photo shows Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath, 13, as she speaks to reporters after the family held a prayer vigil for her daughter at Paradise Baptist Church in Oakland, Calif. McMath remains on life support at Children's Hospital Oakland nearly a week after doctors declared her brain dead, following a supposedly routine tonsillectomy. (AP Photo/Bay Area News Group, Ray Chavez)

The hospital has said its test show Jahi is brain dead and it goes against its purpose to treat "dead" people. The hospital has also said they asked the family to allow them to talk more extensively about her treatment, but have not been given a confidentiality release to do so.

Calls and an e-mail to the hospital spokeswoman were not immediately returned Saturday.

Here is Winkfield's letter in its entirety:

"I am a mother. She is my daughter. I am alive. Despite what they say, she is alive. I can touch her, she is warm. She responds to my touch. I can love her -- I can feel her love. When she was in my belly I fell in love with her. Her heartbeat for the beginning of her life was my heartbeat until God, through a miracle, sparked her heart into existence. Given time I know he will spark her brain awake.

"She is Jahi a name that means 'known by many.' If she knew about all this attention she would blush. She is very shy.

"My daughter sits on life support. I feel like she is on Death Row. The clock is ticking -- ticking down. Children's Hospital Oakland says she is dead. She was not dead when I brought her here on Dec. 9 for a routine tonsillectomy. I put her in their hands, now they want to wash their hands of her.

"Jahi had an operation. I was told it went well. Then she started bleeding from her mouth. They gave me a cup for her to bleed into and said it was normal. She bled more and more. I couldn't keep up with it. I asked for help, they gave me a bigger bucket. She bled more. They did not answer our pleas for a doctor. Her surgeon never came back. She had a heart attack and her heart stopped beating. Then they came -- then. They shocked her back into life. Now they say she is dead.

"Before the surgery she said, 'I am scared Mommy.' I said, 'Why Jahi?' She said, 'I am afraid I won't wake up.' I told her it was going to be fine, it was a simple procedure. I should have listened to her.

Jahi McMath, 13, is brain dead after complications post surgery. (Courtesy of the McMath Family)
Jahi McMath, 13, is brain dead after complications post surgery. (Courtesy of the McMath Family) (Omari Sealey)

"She is on a respirator -- with air she lives, her heart beats, her kidneys produce urine, she is warm and soft. They have been pressuring me to 'pull the plug.' I can't. I won't. I can't let them kill my baby a second time.

"I am fighting for her life. Each breath the vent gives her one more chance to live and gets her one step closer to the hospital's deadline. What a word. I never thought they could tell me, her mother, they were going to pull the plug, take her body to the morgue and send us home on Christmas while she lays in a freezer. She is warm now. I want my baby to be warm. We need time.

'The hospital says she is legally dead. That they can legally stop her breathing. I am not a lawyer. We called many in the middle of the night Monday as they were coming to unplug her Tuesday night. One answered the call. We stopped them. Every day is a struggle. We fight for Jahi. We have a temporary restraining order until Monday -- then the judge can say my baby is legally dead and Children's can unplug her. It doesn't matter what I say. I never thought I would have to go to court to get a hospital to treat my child.

"Hold your children tight. Tell them you love them. I tell my daughter over and over. I know she can hear me. If she has any brain activity when they do the independent tests she will be kept alive. Pray for my daughter Jahi, pray that she will get better so they don't kill her. Pray for me, mothers, that my love can bring her life once more."