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Jahi McMath’s Mom: ‘My Child is Not a Corpse’

Mother of the Jahi McMath insists that her daughter’s physical condition is improving and the young girl is not a ‘corpse’.

Responding to criticism on her Facebook page last week, Nailah Winkfield defended her decision to keep her child on life support after the 13-year-old suffered whole brain death and was declared dead by physicians last December.

Admitting that these were difficult and emotional days for her family, Winkfield said that  she finds joy in the small signs of improvement she sees in Jahi’s condition. “Despite what people say about my daughter being dead and how I must be ignorant not to get that, I can tell you that she is much better physically since she has left Children’s Hospital and I see changes that give me hope,” Jahi’s mom wrote in a Facebook post last week.

She also thanked those who see her daughter as alive and “who view my daughter as the sweet, innocent, 13-year-old girl that she is and not a dead body or a corpse.”‘

Responding to concerns that keeping her daughter on a ventilator was not in the best interests of Jahi, Winkfield credited the “incredible kindness of good-hearted medical professionals” who “are the main reasons my daughter is alive today.”

She added, “I know people are concerned and I want to make sure you know that Jahi is not suffering, she is surrounded by love. I will never let her suffer.”

The tragic case of Jahi McMath, which started after the girl went into the hospital for tonsil surgery, has drawn sharp criticism among physicians and ethicists who claim keeping Jahi on a ventilator when there is no longer blood flowing to her brain and  she was declared legally dead is setting a bad precedent of care.

“What could they be thinking?” Laurence McCullough, a professor at the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in a  USA Today report.” Are there some living cells in the body? Not all the cells die at once. It takes time. But her body will start to break down and decay. It’s a matter of when, not whether.”

Winkfield, however, claims her daughter is alive and improving and hopes that the medical community and society will reconsider their position on brain death as a result of Jahi. “Hopefully, my daughter can change some of the ways brain death is viewed in today’s society,” Winkfield wrote. “Honestly, I think she already has.”

Photo Credit: ABC News/Screenshot






About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.