TODAY

TODAY   |  January 06, 2014

Girl declared brain-dead released to family

Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain-dead after complications from a tonsillectomy, has been released from the hospital to the care of her family. According to the terms of a court order, the family has until Tuesday to move her to a long-term care facility. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> bitter fight over a young girl declared brain dead but kept on a ventilator. overnight, she was released into the care of her mother. miguel almaguer with more on this story. hi, miguel.

>> reporter: matt, good morning. after she was admitted to the hospital back on december 9th , she was moved from here late last night. her family has chose not to release the name of the new facility. instead saying she has a second chance at life.

>> reporter: declared brain dead for a month, she was first released to the coroner's sunday night. the 13-year-old's body then handed over to the custody of her mother only after a death certificate was issued.

>> the hardest thing for my sister to do, for any parent to have to do, which is to go up there and fill out an application for a death certificate for your child. especially when your child is living.

>> after undergoing a complex tonsillectomy, she fell into cardiac arrest. a team of doctors said she was gone. but with her heart still beating with help from a ventilator, her mother believes she is still alive. a court order gave her family until tomorrow to move her to a long-term care facility . now, they must find a doctor to insert a breathing and feeding tube. procedures children's hospital said it would not perform because it would be unethical, they say to operate on someone who is deceased. in a statement, children's hospital says our hearts go out to the family as they grieve for this sad situation and we wish them closure and peace. a little girl who doctors have declared dead but whose family says is still very much alive. her family says they are not releasing the name of the new facility for privacy and safety concerns. but in a few hours, they say she should be receiving permanent care. matt and savannah?

>> thank you very much.