Omari Sealy, left, uncle of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, and family attorney Chris Dolan walk with an unidentified person to news conference outside Children's Hospital in Oakland, Calif., to announce that Sealy's niece will be moved to an undisclosed location in the Bay Area on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. McMath has been declared brain dead after she went into Children's Hospital to have her tonsils out. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
- Jun 20:
- Jahi McMath: Experts say New Jersey 'best destination' for brain-dead patients
- Jun 18:
- Jahi McMath being kept at New Jersey hospital
- Jun 13:
- Jahi McMath: Brain-dead Oakland girl receives certificate from school
- Jun 12:
- Jahi McMath getting diploma for eighth grade, family says
- Jun 11:
- Jahi McMath: Family pushing school to grant brain-dead teen's diploma
- Mar 13:
- Jahi McMath: Family calls state report 'B.S.'; new medical record details emerge
- Jahi McMath: State releases report on Children's Hospital Oakland's handling of patients
- Feb 27:
- Jahi McMath's family to get award from Terri Schiavo foundation
- Feb 19:
- Jahi McMath: Complete text of letter from brain-dead girl's mother
- Jahi McMath 'much better,' her mother says
- Feb 1:
- Jahi McMath: Is it safe to have tonsil surgery at Children's Hospital Oakland?
- Jan 27:
- Jahi McMath video claims to show her feet and toes move
- Jan 25:
- Jahi McMath: five similar brain death legal cases
- Jahi McMath: Could her case change how California determines death?
- Jan 17:
- John Horgan: Don't be too quick to judge Jahi McMath's family
- John Horgan: Readers react to Jahi McMath commentary
- Jan 9:
- Jahi McMath: Medical experts say organ failure inevitable
- Jan 8:
- Jahi McMath: Girl given breathing, feeding tubes, attorney says
- Jan 7:
- Jahi McMath: Streetfighting lawyer takes heat, death threats for brain-dead Oakland girl's family
- Jan 6:
- Jahi McMath: Family says brain-dead teen's body may be too deteriorated to save
- Document: Medical analysis of Jahi McMath's deteriorating condition
- Jahi McMath: Brain-dead girl moved to undisclosed care facility
- Jan 5:
- Jahi McMath: Brain-dead teen's family moves her from Children's Hospital Oakland
- Jahi McMath: Timeline of events in case of brain-dead Oakland teen
- Jahi McMath: 13-year-old brain-dead Oakland girl moved by family from hospital
- Jan 3:
- Daniel Borenstein: Mischaracterizations of Jahi's condition ignites insane legal fight
- Jahi McMath: Mom can remove brain-dead daughter from hospital, judge rules
- Jan 2:
- Jahi McMath: Case heads to federal court Friday
- Jan 1:
- Jahi McMath family spends first day of 2014 searching for doctor to help get teen to New York facility
- Dec 31:
- Document: Hospital decries Jahi McMath family's wishes to keep her on ventilator
- Jahi McMath may be transferred to treatment center in New York
- Jahi McMath: Terri Schiavo group secretly leading transfer efforts
- Jahi McMath: Hospital fights in court to remove brain-dead girl from ventilator
- Dec 30:
- Jahi McMath: Judge's order keeping girl on ventilator reinvigorates family
- Jahi McMath: Judge extends order keeping girl on ventilator
- Dec 29:
- Jahi McMath: Statement of Children's Hospital Oakland
- Jahi McMath: Mom and lawyer say only remaining option for brain-dead girl is a New York care facility
- Dec 28:
- Jahi McMath: Family, attorney release letter addressing critics
- Jahi McMath: Family trying to raise money to get 13-year-old airlifted out of state
- Dec 27:
- Jahi McMath: Hospital open to transferring brain-dead teen but won't perform surgery required by admitting facilities
- Jahi McMath: Children's Hospital Oakland agrees to release brain-dead girl to long-term care
- Contra Costa Times editorial: No one recovers from being brain dead
- Dec 26:
- Jahi McMath: 2 years ago, a girl wound up severely brain damaged following similar surgery
- Jahi McMath: Family says they'll move brain-dead girl to another Bay Area facility
- Dec 25:
- Jahi McMath: Family tries to have normal holiday celebration in hospital waiting room
- Dec 24:
- Lost in the divisive battle over Jahi McMath is a mother's undeniable love
- Jahi McMath: Judge denies petition to keep girl on ventilator past Dec. 30
- Dec 23:
- Jahi McMath: Judge extends order to keep brain-dead girl on ventilator
- Dec 22:
- Faith leaders call on prosecutors to investigate Jahi McMath case
- Oakland: Need for tonsillectomies in question
- Dec 21:
- Jahi, her mom and 13 days at Children's Hospital Oakland
- Jahi McMath: Medicine's ability to keep a heart beating complicates how death is perceived
- Oakland: Emotional letter from Jahi McMath's mom to keep daughter 'warm'
- Dec 20:
- Oakland: Judge grants restraining order keeping Jahi McMath on ventilator through Monday
- Family of Oakland girl on ventilator furious after meeting with hospital officials
- Dec 19:
- Family of girl left brain dead at Children's Hospital Oakland demands medical records
- Dec 18:
- Jahi McMath prayer vigil: "God knows we want a miracle"
- Family of Oakland girl on life support after tonsil surgery calls for international prayer vigil
- Dec 16:
- Family furious, hospital investigating after tonsil surgery leaves girl brain-dead
- Oakland: Girl declared brain dead after tonsil surgery may be taken off life support Tuesday
- Dec 15:
- Oakland girl, 13, declared brain-dead after tonsil surgery
OAKLAND -- The family of Jahi McMath said Thursday that they are preparing to move the 13-year-old to another facility -- a move officials at Children's Hospital Oakland indicated almost immediately that they would resist.
"It looks like we may have found a miracle to keep Jahi alive and to give her another fighting chance to wake up," the girl's uncle, Omari Sealey, told reporters Thursday evening. Sealey said the family had found a "greater Bay Area facility" that would care for the girl, who doctors say was left brain-dead from complications after a Dec. 9 tonsil surgery.
In order to move the girl, Sealey said, doctors would have to give her a tracheotomy so she could have a permanent breathing tube, and give her a gastric tube to provide nutrition.
Omari Sealy, left, uncle of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, and family attorney Chris Dolan say that Sealy's niece will be moved to an undisclosed location in the Bay Area during a news conference outside Children's Hospital in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
Within minutes, however, Children's Hospital officials had released a statement saying that they did not feel that performing surgery on the body of a girl who had been found to be brain-dead was "appropriate." The hospital cited a ruling from Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo, who found that the girl was brain-dead but ordered that the hospital keep her on a ventilator through Monday evening.
"Judge Grillo was very clear," Chief of Pediatrics David Durand said in the statement. "He ruled Jahi McMath to be deceased and instructed the hospital to maintain the status quo.
"Judge Grillo did not authorize or order any surgical procedures or transfer to another facility. Children's Hospital Oakland does not believe that performing surgical procedures on the body of a deceased person is an appropriate medical practice."
The family's attorney, Christopher Dolan, said that the hospital's stance defied explanation.
"It appears the hospital is hell-bent on this girl going out in a box," Dolan said, adding that he would seek another hospital willing to perform the procedure. "The hospital wants to block every opportunity for Jahi to leave."
As their story has gained national attention, the family has received offers from care centers across the country and as far away as New York. Dolan said a group of Catholic doctors who reached out to the family had helped them identify one Bay Area facility that appears willing to provide long-term care for Jahi, who was declared brain-dead after complications from tonsil surgery.
Dolan declined to name the facility.
"They told us there is a bed; they care for children like her all the time," Dolan said. "They believe they can provide her with care and support and treat her as if she's a living person."
Sealey said the girl had been showing positive signs, with her blood pressure stabilizing and that "(Thursday), she had more movement in her body. She's still showing signs of breathing on her own."
While declining to go into specifics, Dolan said the family's private health insurance would cover the cost of her long-term care. The projected cost at the unnamed facility will be "a hell of a lot less" than the cost of keeping Jahi at Children's Hospital, he added.
"It is hard to believe (that the cost will be covered by insurance)," Dolan said in response to a reporter's question. "Somebody is doing the right thing," he added. "They have not put a time limit on this girl's life. She is covered, and that's all that's important."
If the family is unable to immediately move Jahi, Dolan said they will appeal a court ruling that allows doctors at the facility to disconnect her from the ventilator on Monday at 5 p.m.
Dolan said Thursday evening that hospital officials want Jahi out of the hospital, and the family has found a way. "It just isn't the way (the hospital) planned," he said, "which was in a body bag."
About 15 family members gathered to observe the holiday Wednesday with Jahi inside the room at Children's Hospital Oakland, where she has been hooked to a breathing machine since Dec. 12, when she was declared brain-dead three days after complications developed during her recovery from tonsil surgery to correct sleep apnea and other health issues.
Presents for Jahi sat under a tree, and her relatives carried on with some of their holiday traditions, including board games, dominoes and playing cards.
Nailah Winkfield reacts during a press conference organized by local clergy regarding her daughter, 13-year-old patient Jahi McMath, outside Children's Hospital Oakland on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. McMath, who doctors declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy, is being kept on life support until a court-appointed doctor can examine her. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)
"At least Christmas gave these folks a little breathing room," Dolan said. "The hospital was pushing, pushing, pushing from the word go, and these folks just never really had time to process it in a way that would be a normal way."
Hospital officials have not discussed specifics of the case in public, citing the family's right to medical privacy. The hospital's attorney, Doug Straus, said after Grillo's ruling on Tuesday that the hospital would be interested in negotiating a time to remove Jahi from her ventilator and have intravenous fluids stopped before the Monday deadline.
The family has continued to ask for prayers for Jahi, and pastors and churchgoers from around the world have rallied around Jahi, both in person and through social media, and her uncle has said that "prayers are more important than ever, because the clock is ticking."
"We need Children's Hospital to work with us," Sealey said, "and get this done as soon as possible."
Staff writer Matthew Artz contributed to this report.