Brain Dead Teen Gets Feeding and Breathing Tubes

Jahi McMath is being treated at an undisclosed location

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Jahi McMath, the California teen declared brain dead after complications during tonsil surgery last month, has been given feeding and breathing tubes at an undisclosed facility.

Doctors inserted both a gastric tube and tracheotomy tube Wednesday at the undisclosed facility where McMath is being treated, the AP reports. Christopher Dolan, the family’s attorney, says the family believes the procedure should have been done a month ago.

The 13-year-old has been at the center of a legal battle that has raged for nearly a month. During routine tonsil surgery on Dec. 9, she began bleeding heavily and went into cardiac arrest. Doctors declared her brain-dead three days later. But McMath’s mother refused to believe she was dead and went to court to prevent the hospital from taking her off the ventilator. Doctors at Children’s Hospital Oakland had argued that the young McMath should be removed from the ventilator because she was brain-dead, but her family argued that the eighth-grader was still alive because her heart was still beating — with the help of a ventilator.

On Jan. 5, her family won court approval to move her from Children’s Hospital Oakland and into the undisclosed facility. Jani’s uncle, Omari Sealey, told the AP that they were welcomed at the new facility. “They have beliefs just like ours” that she’s still alive, he said.