Click photo to enlarge
Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath,13, who has been declared brain dead after a routine tonsillectomy, talks to media with her husband Martin Winkfield, in front of Children's Hospital in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)
- Oct 3:
- Jahi McMath: Family breaks silence on brain-dead girl's condition
- Video: Jahi McMath press conference
- Oct 2:
- Jahi McMath: Attorney shows video he says proves Oakland girl moves feet, hands at mother's commands
- Oct 1:
- Jahi McMath: Family seeks to have brain-death ruling overturned, girl declared alive
- Aug 17:
- Reports that Jahi McMath is coming home are false
- Jun 20:
- Jahi McMath: Experts say New Jersey 'best destination' for brain-dead patients
- Jun 18:
- Jahi McMath being kept at New Jersey hospital
- Jun 13:
- Jahi McMath: Brain-dead Oakland girl receives certificate from school
- Jun 12:
- Jahi McMath getting diploma for eighth grade, family says
- Jun 11:
- Jahi McMath: Family pushing school to grant brain-dead teen's diploma
- Mar 13:
- Jahi McMath: Family calls state report 'B.S.'; new medical record details emerge
- Jahi McMath: State releases report on Children's Hospital Oakland's handling of patients
- Feb 27:
- Jahi McMath's family to get award from Terri Schiavo foundation
- Feb 19:
- Jahi McMath: Complete text of letter from brain-dead girl's mother
- Jahi McMath 'much better,' her mother says
- Feb 1:
- Jahi McMath: Is it safe to have tonsil surgery at Children's Hospital Oakland?
- Jan 27:
- Jahi McMath video claims to show her feet and toes move
- Jan 25:
- Jahi McMath: five similar brain death legal cases
- Jahi McMath: Could her case change how California determines death?
- Jan 17:
- John Horgan: Don't be too quick to judge Jahi McMath's family
- John Horgan: Readers react to Jahi McMath commentary
- Jan 9:
- Jahi McMath: Medical experts say organ failure inevitable
- Jan 7:
- Jahi McMath: Streetfighting lawyer takes heat, death threats for brain-dead Oakland girl's family
- Jan 6:
- Jahi McMath: Family says brain-dead teen's body may be too deteriorated to save
- Document: Medical analysis of Jahi McMath's deteriorating condition
- Jahi McMath: Brain-dead girl moved to undisclosed care facility
- Jan 5:
- Jahi McMath: Brain-dead teen's family moves her from Children's Hospital Oakland
- Jahi McMath: Timeline of events in case of brain-dead Oakland teen
- Jahi McMath: 13-year-old brain-dead Oakland girl moved by family from hospital
- Jan 3:
- Jahi McMath: Mom can remove brain-dead daughter from hospital, judge rules
- Jan 2:
- Jahi McMath: Case heads to federal court Friday
- Jan 1:
- Jahi McMath family spends first day of 2014 searching for doctor to help get teen to New York facility
- Dec 31:
- Document: Hospital decries Jahi McMath family's wishes to keep her on ventilator
- Jahi McMath may be transferred to treatment center in New York
- Jahi McMath: Terri Schiavo group secretly leading transfer efforts
- Jahi McMath: Hospital fights in court to remove brain-dead girl from ventilator
- Dec 30:
- Jahi McMath: Judge's order keeping girl on ventilator reinvigorates family
- Jahi McMath: Judge extends order keeping girl on ventilator
- Dec 29:
- Jahi McMath: Statement of Children's Hospital Oakland
- Jahi McMath: Mom and lawyer say only remaining option for brain-dead girl is a New York care facility
- Dec 28:
- Jahi McMath: Family, attorney release letter addressing critics
- Jahi McMath: Family trying to raise money to get 13-year-old airlifted out of state
- Dec 27:
- Jahi McMath: Hospital open to transferring brain-dead teen but won't perform surgery required by admitting facilities
- Jahi McMath: Children's Hospital Oakland agrees to release brain-dead girl to long-term care
- Contra Costa Times editorial: No one recovers from being brain dead
- Dec 26:
- Jahi McMath: Family ready to move brain-dead girl to new facility; hospital may refuse surgery request
- Jahi McMath: Family says they'll move brain-dead girl to another Bay Area facility
- Dec 25:
- Jahi McMath: Family tries to have normal holiday celebration in hospital waiting room
- Dec 24:
- Lost in the divisive battle over Jahi McMath is a mother's undeniable love
- Jahi McMath: Judge denies petition to keep girl on ventilator past Dec. 30
- Dec 23:
- Jahi McMath: Judge extends order to keep brain-dead girl on ventilator
- Dec 22:
- Faith leaders call on prosecutors to investigate Jahi McMath case
- Oakland: Need for tonsillectomies in question
- Dec 21:
- Jahi, her mom and 13 days at Children's Hospital Oakland
- Jahi McMath: Medicine's ability to keep a heart beating complicates how death is perceived
- Oakland: Emotional letter from Jahi McMath's mom to keep daughter 'warm'
- Dec 20:
- Oakland: Judge grants restraining order keeping Jahi McMath on ventilator through Monday
- Family of Oakland girl on ventilator furious after meeting with hospital officials
- Dec 19:
- Family of girl left brain dead at Children's Hospital Oakland demands medical records
- Dec 18:
- Jahi McMath prayer vigil: "God knows we want a miracle"
- Family of Oakland girl on life support after tonsil surgery calls for international prayer vigil
- Dec 16:
- Family furious, hospital investigating after tonsil surgery leaves girl brain-dead
- Oakland girl, 13, declared brain-dead after tonsil surgery
OAKLAND -- Exactly a week after Jahi McMath arrived at Children's Hospital Oakland for a routine tonsil surgery, family members were gathering by her bedside Monday night to await doctors' final word on whether there would be any hope of taking their 13-year-old home.
The routine surgery ended in what her mother said was Jahi's worst nightmare: never waking back up. The bubbly teen from a large Oakland family was declared brain dead last week. More family members gathered to visit Jahi late Monday, before she underwent one last test to see if she had any chance of recovery.
The results of the test, Jahi's family said, will determine whether or when doctors will take the teen off life support.
Jahi McMath, 13, who went in for a routine surgery to get her tonsils removed Monday, is now brain dead after complications post surgery. (Omari Sealey)
"At this point it's not up to us (to decide whether to keep her on life support)," her uncle, 27-year-old Omari Sealey, said. "It's so hard for my family. It's so hard for me because her heart is still beating. It's the most helpless feeling to know there's nothing else you can do."
Late Monday, after confirming that the family had convinced a doctor to perform an EEG test to check for any signs of brain activity, Sealey added: "We haven't given up hope. We believe that we still have a shot."
Sealey said earlier Monday that the hospital had made the decision to take Jahi off life support, despite the family's objections. The hospital administration sought permission from Jahi's family to speak to the media on Monday, but the family denied the request. Laws prohibit the hospital from speaking in detail about patients unless permission is given.
"We can say that, as whenever we see a medical or surgical complication, we are reviewing her case very closely," Chief of Pediatrics David Durand said in a brief statement. "Our hearts go out to her family, and we want to support them during this extremely difficult time."
Jahi's family has said they are seeking legal counsel as hospital officials review the case.
Jahi went in for surgery Dec. 9 for what was supposed to be a one-night stay, according to her mother, Nailah Winkfield. When Jahi came out of surgery, she appeared healthy and alert, and was eating a Popsicle, her mother said. The girl was talking and reading notes before blood began pouring from her nose and mouth, she said.
Jahi later went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced brain dead by Thursday, the family said.
Outside of the North Oakland hospital on Monday, Winkfield pleaded for answers from a hospital staff she said has been obstinate and rude during the family's quest for information. The family said hospital staff have asked family to leave the facility and have refused the family's request to meet with hospital administration.
Handwritten notes that Jahi wrote after her surgery -- one read, "Am I OK?" -- are missing too, family members said.
People at E.C. Reems Academy of Technology and Arts, where Jahi is one of 27 eighth-graders, spent the week "praying for a miracle," said Lisa Blair, the school's chief operating officer. Jahi is well known at the tiny East Oakland public charter school, which she has attended since kindergarten; she was recently elected to serve as a judge on the school's student council.
"She is a wonderful little girl," Blair said. "I watched her grow up."
Her family has not left her side during her hospital stay, including Sealey, who has slept in Jahi's room.
"She was my baby," Sealey said. "She was the sweetest girl. She always smiled. All she did was smile and laugh."
Outside the hospital Monday, Winkfield, Jahi's mother, repeated one of the last things Jahi said to her: "Mom, don't cry." Winkfield told reporters she was out of tears.
"As compassionate as (Jahi) is and as caring as she is you would think the hospital could show her some compassion. Her worst fear was not waking up and now she's up there, not waking up."
Staff writer Erin Ivie contributed to this story. David DeBolt and Rick Hurd cover breaking news. Follow them at Twitter.com/daviddebolt and Twitter.com/3rdERH.