OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Six months after doctors at Children’s Hospital Oakland declared her brain dead, KPIX 5 has learned the whereabouts of 13-year-old Jahi McMath.
She is now in a hospital bed at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is in the pediatric intensive care unit of the Children’s Hospital where patients receive 24-hour, round-the-clock care.
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According to its website, Saint Peter’s University Hospital is part of a nonprofit healthcare system, sponsored by the Roman Catholic diocese of Metuchen, NJ.
In January, McMath’s family arranged to remove the 13-year old from Children’s Hospital in Oakland where doctors declared her brain dead following a tonsil surgery. Her new location, until now, has been undisclosed by her family.
Philip Hartman, a spokesman for Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, said he could not confirm Jahi’s presence, as it his hospital’s policy not to release patient’s names to the public.
Jahi’s family attorney, Christopher Dolan, was adamant that he also could not disclose her location.
“No, I can’t confirm anything as it relates to where Jahi is,” Dolan said.
Dolan, however, does insist that Jahi’s condition has gotten so much better that he says her family would now consider moving her out of the hospital ICU.
“I would say that may be a discussion that I could see potentially happening,” Dolan said. “Because of Jahi’s improvement, she may need a lower level of care.”
Dolan said he has recently watched Jahi look in the direction of her mother’s voice and even move specific parts of her body that her mother asked her to move.
After her surgery on December 9, 2013, Jahi bled profusely then suffered a heart attack. Her family fought in court to keep her on a ventilator.
Several experts examined her before declaring her dead. The Alameda County coroner even issued her a death certificate. Dolan said he would now like a re-test.
“They may show something different than when Jahi was under the most acute stress of swelling of the brain and lack of food and nutrition,” Dolan said. “The family is confident that they have seen signs of Jahi responding to voice commands and acting in a way much different than she did in Oakland.
Dolan would not elaborate any more on Jahi’s condition, but said that she is definitely doing much better than some experts had predicted.
“They said definitively that this young girl’s body will shut down,” Dolan said. “That her organs will fail. That her brain will liquefy and come out of her nose. They told that to the public to justify taking Jahi off life support. That has just not happened. “