A Texas judge has ruled in favor of a family who is desperate to keep their 9-year-old daughter on life support. In a ruling made on October 15, the court gave Payton Summons’ family one additional week to seek out a health care facility that would agree to care for their gravely ill child.
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Last week, State District Judge Melody Wilkinson ruled that Payton Summons’ parents did not have a strong enough case to extend a temporary restraining order held against the hospital staff which prevented them from removing the girl from life support. She was due to be withdrawn from medical care Monday, but the successful appeal was made on behalf of the family the same day.
“I just wanted to make sure as Payton’s mother that I had done everything that I could possibly do for her,” said Tiffany Hofstetter, the attorney representing the youngster’s parents following the ruling, according to the Star-Telegram. “I want to be 125 percent sure that Payton was gone and right now I don’t feel like that.”
Justin Moore, a lawyer representing the family, posted a simple message to Facebook yesterday:
“We just received another extension for Payton Summons! #fightforPayton”
On September 25, Payton suffered a cardiac arrest and was immediately placed on life support at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, as reported by CNN. After test results showed that the youngster had absolutely no brain function, the medical teams prepared to take her off life support.
In the state of Texas, a person is classed brain dead if “there is irreversible cessation of the person’s spontaneous respiratory and circulatory functions.” The doctors believe that Payton’s cardiac arrest was caused by a large cancerous tumor which is present behind her heart. The tumor has severed her circulation, according to Laura Copeland, an attorney representing Cook Children’s.
The parents, however, were determined to keep their daughter alive, and are convinced that she could eventually recover. “I am a mother of three,” declared the judge, according to KXAS. “I know what it’s like to do anything you can for your child, but the prosecution has not met their burden of proof.”
In September, the hospital released a statement on Payton’s ailing medical condition:
“Per our protocol and national pediatric medical standards, a second brain death exam was scheduled to take place by a different physician within 12 hours of the first to complete the legal process of declaring Payton deceased,” the statement read, according to the Daily Mail.
“In addition to dealing with the sudden blow of her cardiac arrest and devastating brain injury, Payton’s family is also coping with the news that the arrest was caused by the growth of a very large tumor in her chest that is shutting off her circulatory system.”
The parents have contacted multiple hospitals with the hope that one of them will attempt to treat their daughter. “Unfortunately after 25 out of 28 facilities that were contacted, we had no takers,” said the parent’s co-counsel, Paul Stafford. “We have two maybes and those were preconditioned on certain things which may be life threatening to Payton if performed.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to try and help the family find a medical facility that is suitable for Payton.
“We are needing help finding a facility that will accept her in the condition that she is in,” reads the page description. “They are trying to legally consider her brain dead but her bodily organs are functioning on their own. Our family is asking that you please help us raise money to help our baby girl Payton through this situation that she’s in, and help us with medical costs to transport her to a new facility. Also, to help with legal fees. Anything helps!! God bless you all.
Do continue to pray for Payton and her family at this excruciating time.