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Time short to find new facility for girl declared brain-dead

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By The Associated Press
Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, 7:57 p.m.

OAKLAND, Calif. — The family of a California girl declared brain dead after complications from tonsil surgery was running out of time on Sunday to find a facility to take her in and keep her on a ventilator.

A judge's ruling will allow Children's Hospital Oakland to remove 13-year-old Jahi McMath from life support at 5 p.m. Monday unless her family appeals.

The family is pinning its hopes on a New York facility since two California care homes withdrew offers to accept the teen.

Chris Dolan, the family's attorney, said he was waiting to hear from the New York hospital after its facility director and medical director speak. He wouldn't provide the hospital's name, saying the media attention could hurt Jahi's chance of being transferred there.

“The family is together, and today everybody is praying and being together,” Dolan said on Sunday. He said no decisions had been made about legal options for Monday, and would not comment on progress with the New York facility.

The hospital said it had not heard from the New York, or any other, facility about a transfer.

“We need to be able to talk to the other facility to understand what it is they are capable of doing,” said Cynthia Chiarappa, a hospital spokeswoman.

The hospital said it would need to confirm there is “lawful transportation” included in any plan to transfer Jahi, and written permission from the coroner.

“This is not transferring an individual in a vegetative state, but a dead body.”

Jahi underwent a tonsillectomy at the hospital on Dec. 9 to treat sleep apnea. When she awoke from the operation, her family said, she started bleeding heavily from her mouth and went into cardiac arrest.

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