Payton Summons was supposed to be taken off life support at the Cook Children’s Medical Center before her parents obtained the 14-day restraining order on Monday.
Doctors at the Fort Worth hospital insist that Payton is clinically brain dead and this week wanted to remove her from the ventilator that keeps her breathing.
But her parents wanted to fight for more time, hoping it will allow them to find a different hospital that will take their daughter in for treatment.
The parents of a cancer-stricken Payton Summons, nine, have obtained a temporary court order blocking a Texas hospital from taking their daughter off life support
Payton was supposed to be taken off life support at the Cook Children’s Medical Center before her parents obtained the 14-day restraining order on Monday
Payton, who already survived cancer when she was a toddler, was staying with her grandmother for the night last week when she suddenly went into cardiac arrest.
‘She screamed for her grandmother to help her and said she couldn’t breathe, then she collapsed,’ Tiffany Hofstetter, Payton’s mother, told CBS DFW.
Doctors were able to revive her heartbeat, but found that Payton couldn’t breathe on her own. She was without oxygen to the brain for almost an hour.
They then discovered she had a tumor twice the size of her heart, which is currently crushing Payton’s heart and lungs and cutting off her circulation.
Twenty-four hours after Payton was admitted to the hospital, doctors conducted a brain death exam and found it conclusively confirmed she was brain dead.
Doctors also ran an electroencephalogram (EEG) test, which they said showed ‘no electrical activity in her brain’.
Doctors at the Fort Worth hospital insist that Payton is clinically brain dead and wanted to remove her from the ventilator that keeps her breathing
Payton (pictured getting treatment in a past photo) was staying with her grandmother for the night last week when she suddenly went into cardiac arrest and collapsed
The Cook Children’s Medical Center scheduled a second brain death exam, per national pediatric medical standards, to complete the legal process of declaring Payton deceased.
‘This is understandably very upsetting for Payton’s family, and because we empathize with their situation and always prefer to collaborate with families…we agreed to delay the second test for four days,’ the hospital said in a statement.
‘We felt this would give the family time to better understand these heartbreaking developments, as well as to provide the family opportunity to explore the possibility of transferring Payton to another facility.’
The hospital said it also contacted two North Texas hospitals, but said neither was willing to take in Payton ‘because they agreed there was nothing additional they could do’.
But Payton’s parents believe that there’s still life inside their little girl.
Doctors at Cook’s Children Medical Center (pictured) were able to revive her heartbeat, but found she couldn’t breathe on her own and was without oxygen to the brain for almost an hour
Now her parents are fighting for more time, hoping they can find a different hospital that will take their daughter in for treatment
‘We know our kid. She’s never given up on anything,’ Hofstetter said.
‘Her heart is beating. She’s strong. They thought she wasn’t going to make it through the weekend and she made it.’
‘Once you get in this position, you have to keep doing everything you can to keep your child alive,’ added Payton’s father, Joseph Summons.
‘We’re going to thoroughly research different facilities and hopefully get an acceptance from them. I would like to stay local because I have two other children that I still have to care for.’
‘If I can’t find anything locally and the only one that will take her is out of state, then I’m willing to give her a chance.’
Justin Moore, the family’s attorney, said Hofstetter ‘shouted out for joy’ when they learned the judge had granted their temporary court order.
‘They simply want to give their child a fighting chance,’ he added. ‘Far too often, we have seen medical facilities choose profits over care for patients.’
‘It’s not even been a complete week but they want to pull the plug already.’
State District Judge Melody Wilkinson has also scheduled a hearing for Friday to revisit the court order and consider new developments
Laura Copeland, an attorney representing Cook Children’s Medical Center, said the hospital believes there is no alternative facility that will take Payton
State District Judge Melody Wilkinson granted the court order and scheduled a hearing for Friday to revisit it and consider new developments, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Moore said that Wilkinson could grant the family ‘more days or less’.
Laura Copeland, an attorney representing Cook Children’s Medical Center, said the hospital believes there is no alternative facility that will take Payton.
‘She is dead. It is very traumatic for the staff to have to do things for a patient they know is dead,’ Copeland told the court.
Cook Children officials said on Monday that it would comply with the court order and give the family more time to determine if Payton can be moved.
It will also not do the second brain death examination to confirm that she is deceased.
‘We respect the effort of Payton’s family to do what they believe is best for their child,’ the hospital said in a statement.
‘We experience this kind of parental passion every day and always work alongside the parents.’
Cook Children officials said on Monday that it would comply with the court order and give the family more time to determine if Payton can be moved