Brain dead girl released from California hospital
CALIFORNIA — Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl on a ventilator who was declared brain dead by doctors in California after tonsil surgery, was released from a hospital to her mother Sunday night.
“The body of Jahi McMath was released by Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland to the coroner,” said David Durand, the hospital’s chief of pediatrics. “The coroner has released her body to the custody of her mother, Latasha Winkfield, as per court order, for a destination unknown.”
She left the hospital accompanied by a critical care team, attached to a ventilator, but with no feeding tube in place.
Family attorney Christopher Dolan cheered the development. “She is safely out of Children’s,” he tweeted.
Although a New York facility says it’s ready to care for Jahi, Dolan told reporters Sunday night that her destination won’t be announced.
“We’ve had people make threats from around the country. It’s sad that people act that way,” Dolan said. “So for Jahi’s safety and those around her, we will not be saying where she went or where she is.”
But New Beginnings Community Center in Medford, New York, said it is an option.
“At this time we’re named as the potential facility that Jahi and her family will be coming to, but we will know more details in a couple of hours, and we’ll certainly be happy to let you know as we know,” said Allyson Scerri, founder of the New Beginnings.
On its website, the facility bills itself as an outpatient rehabilitation center for patients with traumatic brain injuries and says it plans to open a long-term care facility.
According to her online biography posted on the facility’s website, Scerri worked as a hair stylist for 25 years and founded the facility after her father sustained a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident.
“We are aware of Jahi McMath’s dire situation, and we are willing to open our outpatient facility to provide 24-hour care as an inpatient, long-term facility for Jahi with the required and appropriate medical staff that she depends upon,” Scerri said in a letter included in court documents last week.
The teen was declared brain dead on December 12, three days after doctors removed her tonsils, adenoids and extra sinus tissue.