Brain-Dead Teen Removed From Life Support Tuesday Mom Feels Guilty (UPDATE)

Jahi McMath brain dead; now declared legally deadA 13-year-old California girl went in to have her tonsils removed and had no idea she would end up without tonsils or brain activity. She went in with all of her faculties for a routine tonsillectomy and is now on life support and has been deemed brain-dead. Jahi McMath will be removed from life support on Tuesday against the family’s wishes.

McMath’s life has ended without a supernatural intervention; according to hospital. She went to Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California to have a normal surgery last week. After her procedure her grandmother, Sandra Jo Chatman, noticed that blood was profusely flowing from her mouth and nose and soon after Jahi had a heart attack. Her family has asked the hospital to keep their daughter on life support for as long as they can while they hope and pray for a miracle.

What the child’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, expected was for her daughter to go in have her tonsils and adenoids removed, recover and within days be back at home with her family. Winkfield wishes she had skipped the procedure and now feels guilty for not heeding her daughter’s warning. Under a normal tonsillectomy Jahi would have gone under general anesthesia and the surgeon would have either cut or burned off the tonsils; all while controlling the bleeding. In many cases the child goes home hours after the surgery or the next day.

Jahi’s initial reason for surgery was to help relieve her sleep apnea. Unexpected complications arose during the child’s recovery process. Her mother said Jahi had actual clots coming out of her mouth. Winkfield said she was Oakland teen removed from life supporthanded a cup and told to catch that clots so they could be measured.

Chatman said she kept requesting assistance but the nurses ignored her pleas until later when Jahi let out a few screams. Chatman said at that time she yelled, “Somebody help my baby please!” Finally the hospital staff took notice and began working on her. Chatman said all of a sudden she heard the doctor say, “Oh no, there is no longer a heart rate.”

It all happened so fast, said Chatman, all of a sudden the complications began to escalate and Winkfield was left to face a mother’s worst nightmare. Jahi went into cardiac arrest and died; she was revived but left without brain activity.

Winkfield said she’s cried until she has no more tears. The doctors have told her that her daughter is not expected to recover; she remains hospitalized without brain activity. Winkfield said she refuses to leave unless Jahi leaves with her. She is afraid that if she leaves her daughter’s side they will pull the plug.

Chief of pediatrics at the hospital where Jahi has allegedly been left to die, Dr. David Durand, emailed a statement to CBS news saying, “We can say that, as whenever we see a medical or surgical complication, we are reviewing her case very closely. Our hearts go out to her family, and we want to support them during this extremely difficult time.”

Melinda Kriegel, hospital spokesperson, said they are very sad about what has happened to this young girl and the outcome of her surgery. Kriegel said currently they have no information or details of the surgery. They will definitely investigate but as with any surgery risks are always present.

Chatman, a veteran nurse at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, has expressed her frustration with the way the hospital handled the complications following the procedure. Chatman said she went in and asked the hospital staff, “Is this normal, do you feel this is normal?” The staff responded that they really didn’t know if this was normal or not, so Chatman yelled, “Well, go get a doctor!”

Jahi’s uncle, Omari Sealey, says he strongly feels that the hospital failed his niece by their slow response to her complications.

The family of McMath has accused the hospital staff of mistreating them by being cold and disrespectful. They feel the hospital wants to hurry up and make a decision about Jahi’s fate. Winkfield said the staff has told them they are taking over the hospital but she said she feels that the hospital has invaded her life.

Kriegel said that is not true; the staff has not treated the McMath family in any ill manner and they definitely have not pressured them to make any kind of decisions where their loved one is concerned.

Brain Dead Teen Removed From Life Support Tuesday Mom Feels GuiltySealey said that his niece did not want to have the tonsillectomy and told her mother that she feared something bad would happen to her. Winkfield tried to reassure her daughter that the surgery would help her sleep and that she was in the best hands possible. She told Jahi that Children’s Hospital was the best hospital and the surgeon was the best in his field so she need not worry.

Winkfield said she feels guilty and is overwhelmed with what has happened to her daughter. This 13-year-old California girl went in to have her tonsils and adenoids removed but due to multiple complications has been left brain-dead. She went in with all of her faculties for a routine tonsillectomy and is now on life support after going into cardiac arrest and has been left without brain activity.

The family is wishing for a Christmas miracle and said as long as she has a pulse they will keep her on life support; reports confirm that Jahi will be taken off life support on Tuesday. The family doesn’t agree with the decision but it is out of their hands; Jahi McMath has now been declared legally dead.


Jahi’s family served a cease-and-desist order to Children’s Hospital in Oakland on Tuesday demanding that she be kept on life support; hours later the hospital had agreed not to remove the ventilator.  The family is not sure what the next steps will be but at this time Jahi McMath is still on life support.


By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)

CBS News
Huffington Post

3 Responses to "Brain-Dead Teen Removed From Life Support Tuesday Mom Feels Guilty (UPDATE)"

  1. Tina   January 9, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    This is so heartbreaking! They should’ve had better experienced doctors to do it! I pray everyday.I hope she recovers..

  2. gail   December 25, 2013 at 4:30 am

    did they pull the plug so sad what went wrong are they going to sue my grandson had that operation he had a good doctor children suppose to be the best was the doctor a traning doctor

  3. Juana Poareo   December 17, 2013 at 7:17 am

    This is so tragic and unbelievable.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.