Jahi McMath's family's relief as judge rules she can stay on life support
- Jahi McMath experienced complications following a tonsillectomy at Children's Hospital in Oakland earlier this month
- Her family are relieved she will be kept on life support over Christmas, after a ruling Monday
- The family's attorney, Christopher Dolan, said they considered the judge's decision to get another opinion on Jahi's brain activity 'a major victory'
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 01:02 EST, 24 December 2013 | UPDATED: 04:06 EST, 24 December 2013
A 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after routine tonsil surgery will likely be kept alive through Christmas, according to the teen's relieved family.
'We're definitely going to have her past Christmas, we believe, which is something that's huge,' Jahi McMath's uncle, Omari Sealey, told ABC News after a Monday court hearing.
'We wanted to make sure they (the hospital) didn't take her (off life support) before Christmas. We're in an OK place right now.'
As Sealey rallied with supporters outside the California hospital where Jahi is on life support, the girl's mother, Nailah Winkfield, attended the court hearing to determine whether a temporary restraining order put in place Friday would be extended.
Heartbreak: Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath, sobs during a court hearing to discuss the treatment of her daughter in Oakland, California, on Monday, December 23, 2013
Jahi McMath (pictured) remains on life support at Children's Hospital Oakland in Northern California
The order prevents Children's Hospital in Oakland from removing Jahi from life support. The hospital is seeking to have the restraining order lifted.
The family's attorney, Christopher Dolan, said they considered Monday's ruling 'a major victory.'
'The most important thing (today) is the judge is leaving the temporary restraining order in place,' the family's attorney Christopher Dolan told ABC. 'We consider this a major victory.'
Dolan said the girl's family was intent on keeping Jahi alive as long as possible and believed the hospital has tried to move Jahi off life support or out of the hospital.
'The family's goal is to keep her alive as long as possible because they've seen so many issues of spontaneous recovery,' Dolan said.
According to Sealey, the court ruled that independent doctor, Stanford University School of Medicine
chief of child neurology Dr. Paul Graham Fisher, would be appointed to examine Jahi's brain-test results.
may be called to deliver his findings in court Tuesday but Dolan said
he hopes the judge will set a hearing date for after Christmas.
Proceedings: Brian Franklin, left, attorney for Children's Hospital Oakland, and Christopher Dolan, attorney for Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath, speaks during the court hearing
March: Jahi McMath's family held a protest out front of Children's Hospital Oakland in Oakland, California, on Monday, December 23 in support of the 13-year-old
Tragic: Makhai McMath, 8, blows a bubble with her gum as she marches in support of her 13-year-old sister
The judge ordered a second medical evaluation for Jahi before the hospital switched off the machine.
The teenager experienced complications following a tonsillectomy at the Oakland hospital.
Her family sat stone-faced in the front row of the courtroom Monday, as the Alameda County judge called for Jahi to be independently examined by Fisher.
The examination, in which hospital staff and Fisher conduct an electroencephalogram, or EEG, and tests to see if blood is still flowing to Jahi's brain, was expected to occur later Monday.
Doctors at Children's Hospital concluded the girl was brain dead on December 12 and wanted to remove her from life support.
Jahi's family wants to keep her hooked up to a respirator, and eventually have her moved to another facility.
The family said they believe she is still alive, and that the hospital should not remove her from the ventilator without their permission.
'It's wrong for someone who made mistakes on your child to just call the coroner ... and not respect the family's feeling or rights,' Sandra Chatman, Jahi's grandmother, said in the hallway outside the courtroom.
'I know Jahi suffered and it tears me up.'
Tears: Jahi's mother Nailah Winkfield (pictured in court on December 20) is seen crying as the judge ordered a second opinion on the case
The family's attorney also asked Judge Evelio Grillo to allow a third evaluation by Paul Byrne, a pediatric professor at the University of Toledo.
The hospital's attorney objected to Byrne, saying he is not a pediatric neurologist.
The judge is expected to take up the request to use Byrne, and another hearing was scheduled for Tuesday morning, Christmas Eve.
Jahi's family says the girl bled profusely after a routine tonsillectomy and then went into cardiac arrest before being declared brain dead.
Outside the courtroom, Dr. David Durand, chief of pediatrics at Children's, said staff have the 'deepest sympathy' for the family, but that Jahi is brain dead.
'The ventilator cannot reverse the brain death that has occurred and it would be wrong to give false hope that Jahi will ever come back to life,' he said.
Dolan vowed to file an appeal if the judge orders her removed from the machine on Tuesday.
'I am confident she'll live through Christmas,' a visibly weary Dolan said.
Given the very public battle over Jahi's treatment, the judge pleaded with attorneys on both sides to continue speaking with each other and the family to help prepare for his eventual final order.
'This is a very, very charged case. The stakes are very high because there's a young girl involved,' Grillo said.
MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS
MOST READ NEWS
Anne Arunde County police said they arrested seven people in connection to a prostitution reversal operation, where undercover detectives posed as escorts on websites. Police said ...
- Revealed: The two mystery Iranians travelling on stolen passports. Interpol say they do NOT believe plane was brought down by terrorism as men are revealed to be immigrants, 19 and 29
- Burglars steal $600,000 from Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church
- Dogs DO love their owners: Scans reveal dogs respond positively to scent of owners
- What happens when 20 complete strangers lock lips for the first time
- PBS reporter Miles O'Brien speaks out about arm amputation
- Rolling Stones' Keith Richards splashes out on luxury Manhattan penthouse
- Japanese airline Skymark's new stewardess uniform 'invitation to sexual harassment'
- Young blonde says missing Malaysia Airlines pilot invited her and her friend to ride in the cockpit with him for entire flight in 2011
- The blueprint of the Jet Age: Secret archive of chief engineer who worked on development of revolutionary fighter plane engine
- 'Do you think Michelle would marry a nerd?' Obama jokes about his wife's standards and teases Zach Galifianakis over The Hangover as he goes on star's sketch show to promote Obamacare