OAKLAND -- A Los Angeles area long-term care facility that had been willing to accept Jahi McMath has withdrawn its offer, leaving a New York hospital as the only apparent option for the brain-dead girl as a 5 p.m. Monday deadline to remove her from a ventilator approaches, her mother and attorney said Sunday.
"I just found out that the facility my daughter was supposed to be going to has backed out," Jahi's mother, Nailah Winkfield, wrote on the family's fundraising website early Sunday. "My family and I are still striving to find a location that will accept her in her current condition."
That leaves an unnamed New York hospital "as our last, last hope,'' Jahi's lawyer, Christopher Dolan, said. The facility is "run by "an organization that believes in life," Dolan told The Associated Press.
Dolan said the unnamed Los Angeles area facility withdrew its offer because it didn't want media attention or to jeopardize its relationship with its doctors, who refused to treat someone who's been declared brain-dead.
As Jahi's family prepared for a Sunday afternoon fundraiser at an Oakland church to help pay for a possible airlift, it remained unclear what will happen in the hours ahead.
Doctors at Children Hospital Oakland have refused to perform a tracheotomy for breathing and insert a gastric tube for feeding, procedures that are needed in order to transfer the 13-year-old, saying it is unethical to perform surgery on a deceased person.
Several doctors, including one appointed by a Superior Court judge, have determined that Jahi is brain-dead and will not recover. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo on Tuesday ruled that Children's Hospital may remove Jahi from a ventilator at 5 p.m. Monday unless an appeal is filed.
Jahi underwent tonsil surgery and two other procedures at the hospital Dec. 9 to treat sleep apnea. After she awoke from the operation, her family said, she started bleeding heavily from her mouth and went into cardiac arrest. She was later declared brain-dead, but her family, saying they believe she is still alive, has fought to keep on a ventilator even as doctors at Children's Hospital urged them to accept her death.
"The family has been told by doctors and by a judge that Jahi McMath is dead. And that is very sad, but there has to be some recognition that the situation is not going to change," a spokesman for hospital, Sam Singer, has said.
But her family is fighting on, launching a fundraising drive on the website GoFundMe to pay for a possible transfer. As of noon Sunday, the site reported $17,715 had been raised toward a goal of $20,000.
The family fundraising event is at e p.m. today (Sunday) at Church of All Faiths, 2100 5th Ave., Oakland.
To view the fundraising page, visit www.gofundme.com/jahi-mcmath, or contact the family at Jahi McMath, P.O. Box 5128, Oakland, CA 94605-0128.
Follow Thomas Peele at Twitter.com/thomas_peele.