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Family of Jahi McMath, teen declared brain dead, shares update

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SAN FRANCISCO — The family of a Oakland teenager who was declared brain dead after suffering complications from sleep apnea surgery has shared an update saying, “as you can see she is still alive and just as beautiful as ever.”

But almost two years after the surgery, Jahi McMath, now age 15, is still on life support.

The girl’s mother has kept her organs functioning on life support since her operation went awry at an Oakland hospital, where she was determined to be brain dead.

McMath was declared brain dead after the 2013 operation, which gained national attention during a court fight over the removal of her life support. Her family then moved to New Jersey in a controversial decision that also made headlines.

The family’s attorney, Chris Dolan, argued in court papers filed last year that 13-year-old Jahi McMath is no longer brain dead and shows significant signs of life.

In an update recently posted to Facebook, the family shared photos of the girl and stated:

“Hello everyone. As requested here is the latest pic of Jahi. Our little sleeping beauty is doing great and progressing. She is moving more on her mothers command. As you can see she is still alive and just as beautiful as ever. Flawless skin! She will be 15 in a few days. Thank you all for the continued love, support and prayers!”

Dolan acknowledges that a recovery from brain death would be a medical first. But he says brain scans show electrical activity and that she responds to verbal commands from her mother.

Lawyers for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital say the evidence in Jahi’s case still supports the determination that she is legally dead.

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