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Facility found for Oakland girl on ventilator

  • Dede Logan, of Oakland, adds red stars to a poster in support of Jahi McMath in front of Children's Hospital Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. McMath was declared brain dead after experiencing complications following a tonsillectomy at the hospital. (AP Photo/The Contra Costa Times-Bay Area News Group, Susan Tripp Pollard)

OAKLAND — An attorney says a nursing home has agreed to provide long-term care for a 13-year-old girl, who has been declared brain dead but whose family maintains is still alive.

A southern California facility agreed after another nursing home backed out, the family's lawyer, Christopher Dolan, said Friday.

He wouldn't provide its name, saying "we're afraid they'll be inundated with press" and decide to back out as well.

Time is short for the family, as Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo on Tuesday ruled that the Children's Hospital Oakland may remove Jahi McMath from life support at 5 p.m. Monday unless an appeal is filed.

Jahi underwent tonsil surgery at Children's Hospital on Dec. 9 to treat sleep apnea. After she awoke from the operation, her family said, she started bleeding heavily from her mouth and went into cardiac arrest. Doctors at Children's Hospital concluded the girl was brain dead on Dec. 12 and wanted to remove her from life support. The family said they believe she is still alive.

Before Jahi can be transferred, she must undergo two more medical procedures — the insertion of a breathing tube and a feeding tube, both of which would be necessary for her long-term care but which the nursing home is not equipped to perform.

The hospital has refused to perform the procedures.

"Children's Hospital Oakland does not believe that performing surgical procedures on the body of a deceased person is an appropriate medical practice," David Durand, its chief of pediatrics, said in a statement Thursday.

Douglas Straus, a lawyer for the hospital, said in a letter made public Friday that before the hospital would comply with the family's request to move Jahi, it would need to speak directly with officials at any nursing home to make sure they understand her condition, "including the fact that Jahi is brain dead" — and to discuss needed preparations, including transportation.

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