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Family of 13-year-old brain dead girl removes her from hospital

Jan. 6, 2014 at 7:55 AM   |   Comments

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OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The family of 13-year-old Jahi McMath hailed the release of the brain-dead teen's body from an Oakland, Calif., hospital as a victory, a relative said.

Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland officials said the hospital released Jahi's body Sunday to the Alameda County coroner's office, which turned the body over to the girl's mother "as per court order," the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Jahi is FREE!!! Bye Children's Hospital," her uncle, Omari Sealey, posted on Twitter Sunday evening.

Sealey, who participated in a news conference Sunday with family attorney Christopher Dolan, said the girl was "with her mother, where she should be."

"Today is a victory for Jahi," Dolan said.

Dolan did not indicate where Jahi would be taken, but said "there will be doctors involved." He said the family did not want Jahi's location disclosed because of "real concerns" about her safety, noting the family has received death threats.

The Alameda County coroner's office issued a death certificate Friday, stating Dec. 12 as the date of death, the San Francisco Chronicle said. Dolan said the family never got a copy of the death certificate and the cause of death was pending.

She left the hospital accompanied by a critical care team and attached to a ventilator, but no feeding tube was in place, CNN reported. The family raised more than $48,000 on GoFundMe.com to move Jahi.

Jahi suffered complications Dec. 12, three days after she underwent tonsil surgery. Two hospital physicians and many outside doctors sought by the family determined she was brain dead and the county coroner was notified, court records indicated.

Jahi's family protested the hospital's intention to remove her from a ventilator, saying she was not dead and her heart was still beating.

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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