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Mother of Jahi McMath Says Her Daughter is Still Sleeping

Jahi McMath remains on life supportThe mother of the 13-year-old California girl, who was declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy in December 2013, still believes that her daughter is just sleeping.

Jahi was declared brain-dead three days after suffering complications during surgery to remove her tonsils, adenoids, and uvula at Children’s Hospital of Oakland.  At the time, at least three neurologists confirmed that she no longer had signs a life, including breathing on her own, blood flow, or electrical activity in the brain. However, the mother spent weeks in court to keep Jahi on a ventilator and had the girl transported to an undisclosed long term care facility in early January 2014.

The Alameda County Coroner had issued a death certificate for the child, about 23 days after she was declared brain dead, but said it was incomplete because an autopsy wasn’t performed so the exact cause of death is unknown.

“I don’t use the word ‘brain dead’ for my daughter. I’m just waiting and faithful that she will have a recovery. She is blossoming into a teenager before my eyes.” said Nailah Winkfield an interview Thursday on KNTV-TV news in San Jose, California. Ms. Winkfield was also being honored at the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network’s awards gala.

In the interview, Ms. Winkfield claims that Jahi is responsive and undergoing physical therapy. Last month in a Facebook message, she posted a letter claiming that Jahi’s physical condition had improved since leaving Children’s Hospital and thanking those for their support and prayers.

S.C. Rhyne is a blogger and novelist in New York City. Follow the author on Twitter @ReporterandGirl, and visit her website at

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