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Jahi McMath Dies 5 Years After Being Declared Brain Dead.

Jahi McMath, 17, who was declared brain dead 5 years ago, has died in New Jersey after suffering from internal bleeding and kidney issues.

The body of McMath, whose case ignited a debate over brain death across the country, was removed from life support on June 22 and a death certificate was issued by the State Of New Jersey, listing the preliminary cause of death as bleeding.

Christopher Dolan, the girl's family attorney, said her body will be flown home to Oakland next week and her brain will be preserved for scientific study.

"I'm devastated about losing my daughter," the girl's mother Nailah Winkfield said, (https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/06/28/jahi-mcmath-oakland-teen-declared-brain-dead-almost-five-years-ago-dies-in-new-jersey/) The Mercury News reported.

"Everything I did revolved around Jahi. I think Jahi will be remembered forever because she defied all of the odds. My wish is for her to get some laws changed around brain death," she said adding that her daughter underwent several surgeries since April 2018.

"I hope she's taught people - stopped pulling the plug on your people," she said and added that the only regret she has is "taking her to get her tonsils removed."

"I can go to sleep knowing I did everything possible for my kid and no one can take that away from me," the woman said, (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5899103/Girl-center-debate-brain-death-dies-surgery.html) Daily Mail reported.

In 2013, Winkfield refused to remove her daughter, then 13, from life support after doctors at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, California, declared her brain dead following a complex nose and throat surgery. The hospital made the decision as the medical experts there believed the machines would not be able to keep her alive for long.

The family then took the hospital to Alameda County Superior Court and the ruling allowed them to remove the girl from the hospital.

Winkfield quit her job, sold her Oakland home and left her other children in the care of family members to move her daughter across the country. The family raised money for a private jet and flew her to a Catholic hospital in New Jersey.

 "She was a girl with a brain injury, and she deserved to be cared for like any other child who had a brain injury," Winfield had said, (http://time.com/5326150/california-teenage-girl-died-medical-religious-debate-california/) Time reported.

The family continued their fight to get her death certificate rescinded and also sought damages from the children's hospital for allegedly botching the routine operation. In September 2017, Alameda County Judge Stephen Pulido said that it's up to a jury to determine whether Jahi McMath is alive.

Dr. Alan Shewmon, a retired UCLA neurologist, said in court documents that Jahi's body had not deteriorated as expected. 

Winfield celebrated her daughter's 17th birthday with a (https://www.facebook.com/keepJahiMcmathonlifesupport/photos/a.167241473484813.1073741828.166781143530846/709624659246489/?type=3&theater) Facebook post saying "Jahi McMath ~ Highly favored, deeply loved, richly blessed, amazingly graced."

"Four years ago, you were given less than a month to live, even on life support, 4 years later, you are here, taken breaths on your own," she wrote adding that "One day at a time. Jahi loves life, and she's fighting for it."
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Jun 29, 2018
Words:544
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