Christmas at Children's Hospital for Jahi McMath - NBC Bay Area

Christmas at Children's Hospital for Jahi McMath



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    Sandra Chatman(Jahi McMath's grandmother) shakes hands with attorney Chris Dolan in courtroom. Uncle Omari Sealey watches. Dec. 24, 2013

    The family of a 13-year-old Oakland girl declared brain dead after suffering complications following a tonsillectomy was trying to give the girl as normal of a Christmas as possible,  one day after she was declared legally dead by a judge.
    The family of Jahi McMath will meet Thursday afternoon to discuss a possible appeal of a judge's decision allowing a hospital to remove her from life support, the family attorney, Chris Dolan, told NBC Bay Area.

    Jahi's uncle,  Omari Sealey, tweeted out that he will "pull out all the stops to make sure my little girl will have every opportunity there is for her to make a recovery."
    On Christmas Day, Jahi's extended family set up a tree at Children's Hospital Oakland  in Jahi's room with presents for her and her siblings.

    Sealey took Instagram photos of the room, showing a small Christmas tree decked out with ornaments, balloons and a giant purple ribbon.

    "We're going to discuss our opportunities tomorrow. Today we are going to keep as regular as possible,'' Sealey said. "We still got five days for a miracle. We are still hopeful."
    The family also has become quite close with their attorney, who also said by Twitter that he spent part of the holiday at the hospital.

    Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ruled just before Christmas Eve that the hospital could remove Jahi from the ventilator keeping her body functioning, but gave the family until 5 p.m. on Dec. 30 to file an appeal. 

    Jahi's family, who are devout Christians, say they believe Jahi is still alive, because her heart is still beating. The teen suffered cardiac arrest after bleeding profusely following her Dec. 9 operation to fix her sleep apnea. She  was declared brain dead for the first time on Dec. 12.
    Grillo based his decision on the conclusions of  court-appointed Dr. Paul Fisher of Stanford University and the hospital's Dr. Robin Shanahan. A third doctor at Children's also made the same finding. All the EEGs performed showed there is no sign of brain activity.

     Grillo said he had no other choice but to allow the hospital to remove the ventilator.

    "I wish I could fix it, but I can't,'' he told the court last week.

    The hospital had argued that the teen had no chance of recovery since all brain function had ceased.
    "Our sincere hope is that the family finds peace and can come to grips with the judge's decision," hospital attorney Doug Strauss said outside court after Grillo's ruling.
    The case is now out of Grillo's court and the decision will be up to the California Court of Appeal if the family decides to pursue its legal case to keep Jahi on the ventilator.

    NBC Bay Area's Kris Sanchez and Paul Elias of the Associated Press contributed to this report.