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Jahi McMath’s Uncle: ‘She is Tossing and Turning and Shows Signs of Life’

Just days after a review by the California Board of Public Health declared that Children’s Hospital of Oakland met the standard of care required in the case of Jahi McMath, her family continues to claim that doctors that gave Jahi no hope of recovery got it tragically wrong.

In December 2013, 13-year-old Jahi McMath went into the hospital for a tonsillectomy and suffered catastrophic complications, leading the doctors to diagnosis her with whole brain death and recommend the termination of life support. McMath’s family, however, would not accept the hospital’s diagnosis and fought in court to have Jahi released from the hospital and cared for at a private facility where she could remain on a ventilator and supportive therapy.

Ultimately, Jahi was released by the hospital to the coroner, who issued a death certificate, and then handed over to the family, who transported the child-still on a ventilator-to an undisclosed private care facility.

Now, three months later, Jahi’s uncle Omari Sealy insists the teen is showing signs of life and consciousness and has improved under her new doctor’s care.

“She moves so much, she can turn on her side,” he said. “They have to keep her bed rails up. They’re afraid she could fall out of bed.”

Sealy also stressed that the movements are not random and Jahi appears to respond when someone walks into a room and even turns to them.

“She definitely knows where she is and that we’re present,” he said.

He further pointed out that Jahi’s heart and lungs remain strong and he skin and body have not broken down. “One of the misconceptions out there is that she’s deteriorating or is going to deteriorate over time,” Jahi’s uncle said.  “But her skin looks better than mine.”

Medical professionals insist movement in bodies attached to life support is not uncommon and it should not be misconstrued as signs of consciousness. Ultimately, these  bodies will also break down.

Jahi’s uncle, however, said  that the doctors have been wrong every step of the way with Jahi  and he remains hopeful that one day “she [will]  wake up, that she [will] open her eyes.”

Photo Credit: Undated file photo/Omari Sealy

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.

  • Nancy

    That’s rigor mortis, Uncle Omar. She’s NEVER coming back. She’s dead. Let her RIP already!

    • Jodye Rudolph

      Rigor mortis is when the body grows stiff after death. It does not include tossing and turning.

      • Gort1

        Gawd Nancy. …you’re ignorant

    • Gort1

      Ignorant thing to say….and wrong. …read a little before you make such comments

    • Rory

      Nancy if this was your child .She would pulled her own plug just to get away from YOUR BRAIN DAMAGED BEHIND.

  • Joyce Jacobson

    What purpose does it serve to keep this poor child alive? It will be a long agonizing road for everyone with the inevitable outcome. I am a nurse and I have seen too many families that just cannot accept what is happening and, while I fully understand and empathize with them; I always wonder “why” they would put themselves and their loved one through such torture.

    • 5thApe

      ” keep this poor child alive”

      She is NOT alive. She is dead.

    • Rory

      Well I
      have seen people suffer illness and accidents .IT took them years to get back
      on their feet but talked and walked out on their own of the Rehab. Centers. You
      should spend some time with them .They are very determined,
      thankful and love
      GOD kind of people. If you have any questions about how AWESOME GOD is listen
      and watch. Pray that all you have to do.

  • 5thApe

    What a macabre family this is. This girl is dead.

  • Dannielle Romeo

    we have a small farm. I put a severely injured chicken out of its misery last week. after the head came off, the body tossed and turned so much, I probably should have set up some bed rails. and a GoFundme page for it’s recovery…..

    • Chaveevah Banks Ferguson

      while I may agree that the family should come to grips with the reality of their child’s brain death, there is nothing laughable going on here, NOTHING to joke about. you should be ashamed of yourself for your asshat STUPID comments. I won’t say you’re ignorant, because ignorance stems from simply not knowing any better…YOU know better, you just don’t care–that’s why I said “stupid”. You don’t have to agree with how the family is dealing with this situation–I don’t agree either; but you need to either show respect, or show yourself out of this discussion. seriously

      • Dannielle Romeo

        Until they show this child the respect she deserves and stop acting like attention junkies, they deserve ZERO respect.

        Door-s —-> that way. Feel free to walk out of it. Or keep drinking the family’s kool aid like the other sick sychophants

        • Chaveevah Banks Ferguson

          Oh, so now it’s about the FAMILY “showing the child respect”?! and I suppose your brilliant tactic to achieve that is by making jokes about the child’s brain-dead condition? It’s you who’s looking like the sick one…I said, EARLY ON, that I believe the family needs to face up to the reality; I DON’T believe that mocking them–or in YOUR case, the kid–is the way to proceed. And I probably will leave this thread alone, because people like you tend to wrap their cloak of stupidity around themselves EVEN TIGHTER when they get called out. have a nice life

  • Doreen Gaffney Barr

    After seeing many patients in this same condition I have come to the conclusion that sometimes this type of medical treatment is not so much extending life but rather prolonging death. It is such a difficult time for the family. I only hope this child is not suffering. And since she cannot communicate, who knows if she is.

  • indygeezer

    What good are strong lungs when they’ll never be filled with laughter again? What of the beating heart which beats on by itself, never to flutter faster in love or heavier in sorrow? There are things worse than death. This is one of them.