The family of a sick baby won a last-minute reprieve to stop a Texas hospital from taking her off life support against their wishes, according to reports.
Tinslee Lewis was due to have the machines switched off Sunday after Cooks Children’s Hospital invoked a Texas law that allows that decision when treatment is deemed futile.
“While we believe every child’s life is sacred, we also believe that no child should be sentenced to a life of pain,” Cook Children’s Health Care System spokesperson Winifred King said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
However, the 9-month-old’s family won a last-minute court ruling Sunday that forced the hospital to keep her equipment running until at least Nov. 23, giving them time to move Tinslee to a hospital willing to help, the report said.
“We are just asking for the opportunity to give Tinslee a fighting chance,” Trinity Lewis’ cousin, Tye Brown, told the Star-Telegram.
Tinslee was born prematurely with a rare heart defect and also suffers from chronic lung disease and severe chronic pulmonary hypertension. She has already undergone several complex surgeries, breathes with the assistance of a ventilator and is sedated but conscious, the paper notes.
“She’s a fighter,” her mother, Trinity Lewis, told the paper. “She’s been through so much.”
Family member Beverly Winston also said that the family was willing to clasp onto any possible chance for the tot.
“Regardless of the reason, or what the law is, she deserves a chance to fight for her life,” she told the Star-Telegram of the case supported by Texas Right to Life.
Sunday’s ruling by Tarrant County District Judge Alex Kim gives the family until the next hearing, on Nov. 22, to find a new hospital willing to help. If they fail, Cooks Children’s Hospital could potentially switch off Tinslee’s support the following day.
The hospital spokesperson stood by the initial “gut-wrenching decision” to want to end life support.
“In the last several months, it’s become apparent her health will never improve,” King told the Star-Telegram.
“Despite our best efforts, her condition is irreversible, meaning it will never be cured or eliminated.
“Without life-sustaining treatment, her condition is fatal. But more importantly, her physicians believe she is suffering.”
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