The parents of a 10-month-old boy who was found unconscious in a bathtub are fighting to keep their son on life support after doctors declared him brain dead and urged them to pull the plug.
Mario and Ana Patricia Torres, from Houston, have filed a lawsuit against Texas Children’s Hospital seeking to give their baby Nick a fighting chance after he was pronounced legally dead on September 30.
The little boy has been in the intensive care unit since September 24 after he was found ‘laying in water and unresponsive’, in a near-drowning accident, CNN reported.
Six days later, hospital staff declared the boy deceased due to a lack of brain activity and recommended he be disconnected from his ventilator.
However, the couple believe their son still has a chance of survival because his heart is still beating and are refusing to give up hope.
The parents last Wednesday filed for an injunction against the hospital and also sought more than $1million, claiming doctors were ‘rushing to make a decision’ and not giving their son the opportunity to fight for his life.
The couple have maintained only God can decide to give or take away their son’s life and the decision should not fall on the doctors.
The family has also launched an online petition and a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of buying more time with their son.
‘He is on life support, but the doctors already lost hope and want to remove the life support that is keeping him alive. I have faith that GOD is the main doctor,’ the mother wrote in a post.
A Harris County district judge denied the injunction last week but granted the parents more time to file an appeal, evidence of which will be heard in court on Wednesday.
Family attorney Kevin Acevedo described the matter as a morality issue about who should be allowed to decide between ‘life and death’.
‘Do the parents choose, or do the doctors choose? And when the doctors don’t agree with the parents, who gets to decide? And those are the issues that are at the heart of this case,’ he told the news station.
The hospital meanwhile has argued that baby Nick has had no blood flow to his brain and is considered dead according to Texas law.
The senior medical doctor who pronounced the boy dead also noted he has started to show ‘postmortem deterioration’ which cannot be slowed down by a ventilator.
The hospital said Nick had also ‘developed progressive signs of organ failure, including cardiac failure,’ according to court documents.
‘[His] current condition and physiological changes have nothing to do with the presence of oxygen provided by the ventilator. In addition, these changes cannot be stopped or slowed by the ventilator or any other service,’ doctors said.
A panel of three judges is expected to make a decision on the case later this week.
Meanwhile, the Torreses have refused to give up on hope for their son and have been documenting their battle on social media, asking for prayers and support.
‘We want to take our baby home and provide home care since no hospital is willing to take him,’ Patricia Torres wrote in a Facebook post.
‘HE IS ALIVE. His heart is beating on its own. Blood is running through his veins, we’ve been changing his diapers, a dead person does not pee or poo. His eyes have tears, he is crying for justice.
‘I don’t want a Hospital to decide if my baby dies or lives. Only God can give and take life away [it’s] not for a human to decide.’
In a statement to the news station, The Texas Children’s Hospital said it has complied with all ‘applicable legal standards in providing services’.
‘We know losing a child is incredibly difficult for any family. Texas Children’s seeks to provide the most compassionate and appropriate care possible to every patient we serve,’ they said.