Jahi McMath's family says they're close to moving the teen

Jahi McMath's family is expressing new optimism that they are close to moving the brain-dead teenager to a new facility.
January 1, 2014 6:29:18 PM PST
With a deadline looming for Children's Hospital Oakalnd to remove her from a ventilator, the family of Jahi McMath is expressing new optimism that they are close to moving her to a facility, away from Oakland, where she was pronounced brain-dead last month.

On Wednesday night, the 13-year-old's family came out and told reporters they hope to have a positive update on her situation later in the evening. Before that, they told us they feel they are getting "very close" to moving her from this hospital.

"The family attorney has created a hoax, a very sad hoax that Jahi McMath is in some way alive," hospital spokesperson Sam Singer said.

While Children's Hospital Oakland continues to say the 13-year-old is legally dead, her family tells, they are increasingly optimistic that they will have her moved to a new facility soon.

"We do have ground transportation and a plane that's ready," said Jahi's uncle, Omari Sealey. "And as soon as our facility is ready to receive her, we will be moving Jahi."

It appears a brain injury facility in New York remains one possibility, though it's unclear if it has in-patient capabilities.

The Associated Press reports Long Island's "New Beginnings Community Center" has ties to the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network. It was started by Schiavo's family after a prolonged legal battle to keep the brain damaged Schiavo on life support.

Jahi's family says their efforts to move the brain-dead teen are still being thwarted by the hospital, which refuses to perform a tracheotomy and insert a nutritional tube in the 13-year-old.

"We will not allow surgery to be performed in this facility by any of our physicians or by any other physician," Singer said. "We will, however, turn the body over if the family and its attorney can find a physician who would do these procedures."

Jahi's family says they have a physician, transportation, and a facility that will accept the girl on a ventilator.

Children's Hospital maintains it has yet to hear from any of them.

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