Family Fights to Keep 6-Month-Old Boy on Life Support

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland officials gave a family more time in keeping a 6-month-old boy on life support, and late Monday, the family confirmed he had been transferred to Stanford Hospital.

The decision not to take Kingston Holmes off life support came after family and supporters rallied outside the Oakland hospital to keep him alive. The hospital initially planned to take the child off life support at 1 p.m. Monday.

Kingston remained in a coma, and a debate raged on about when to declare someone dead.

The boy was first brought to a Fairfield hospital with cardiac arrest and later transferred to Children's Hospital Oakland, where he has remained in a coma for the past month.

"We have a lot of mixed emotions," said Cresha Batte, Kingston's mother. "This is one of the most devastating things that I've ever been through."

Kingston's parents said the hospital told them they would have to remove him from life support Monday afternoon. Hospital officials late Monday said Kingston was transferred to another hospital at the family's request, and a fmialy spokesperson confirmed it was Stanford.

In a statement, the Oakland hospital said it cannot comment on the case, citing privacy rules.

"(We're) just waiting for Kingston to prove them wrong," said Peter Holmes, the boy's father.

Kingston's family said the boy is not brain dead and deserves the chance to fight.

"He is moving. He's wiggling his fingers, his toes," Batte said. "He's moving his feet, as well as his hands."

Some said the case is reminscent of Jahi McMath. The same hospital attempted to remove Jahi from life support against her family's wishes.

Jahi's family was ultimately allowed to move her to another facility, where she died several years later.

It is unclear from the hospital's statement how long they plan to keep Kingston on life support. The family is hoping another facility will accept Kingston as he continues to fight for his life.

Here's the full statement released by Children's Hospital Oakland:

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland greatly empathizes with the family of Kingston Holmes. We are dedicated to saving and protecting the lives of the children for whom we care. The prospect of losing a child is one of the most difficult situations a family can face and is deeply upsetting to our clinical teams who work tirelessly to provide the best care for patients in dire situations.

Due to patient privacy laws, we are not able to comment regarding the infant’s specific situation, other than to say that there will be no action today in removing life support. As in all situations in our hospital, the decision to limit or withdraw life support is not taken lightly. From the time a patient enters the hospital, our clinical teams work with families to discuss the patient’s care planning, prognosis, chance of survival, and opportunity for second opinions and transfer to another hospital.

At the same time, every effort is made to allow the family time to grieve, while still recognizing that certain patients are, unfortunately, sent to us in such grave condition that they will not benefit from additional care.

As part of this process, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals seeks additional medical opinions on the patient’s situation and prognosis from outside physicians who are not involved in the patient’s care. Our clinical team also assists the family with names and contact information for qualified outside experts if the family would prefer to contact them independently. In situations in which the patient is able to be transferred, the clinical team contacts outside medical centers to identify hospitals that could accommodate the patient’s medical needs.

While we are not able to provide further details, our hearts are with the family in this difficult time.

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