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Jahi McMath's family celebrates Christmas at the hospital

The family of Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old Oakland girl declared brain-dead due to complications from a tonsillectomy, brought its Christmas celebrations to the waiting room of the hospital as the teenager remained on life support.  

About 15 family members gathered at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland on Wednesday afternoon with a tree, presents and games to pass the time, a family member told multiple media outlets.

The holiday came a day after an Alameda County judge declared Jahi McMath brain-dead. Soon after Jahi had her tonsils removed on Dec. 9, the eighth-grader went into cardiac arrest and the flow of oxygen to her brain was cut off. 

Family members have accused Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland of being callous in pushing to take Jahi off a ventilator, despite their wishes to keep her on life support. 

Hospital administrators, citing patient privacy laws, have declined to discuss details of the case, but have said Jahi's family and friends have perpetuated "misperceptions" about the girl's condition.

On Wednesday, Jahi’s family attempted to carry on its family traditions as best they could.

The family set up a Christmas tree in Jahi's room with presents for her and her siblings, according to ABC-7 in San Francisco. They also planned to play board games, dominoes and cards, said Jahi's uncle, Omari Sealey.

"We're trying to make it as normal as possible," Sealey told the Contra Costa Times.

Christopher Dolan, the family's attorney, visited Wednesday, and told the paper the family played Taboo and sang Christmas carols.

"It really was quite touching," he said.

Jahi will remain on the breathing machine until at least 5 p.m. Dec. 30, according to the judge's latest order.


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Twitter: @MattStevensLAT


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