Tinslee Lewis, 11 months old, remains connected to her life support after a Texas appeals court put the brakes on a lower court ruling that would have allowed a hospital to end her treatment and likely her life as well.
On Friday, the Fort Worth-based Second Court of Appeals ordered Cook Children’s Medical Center to continue to provide life support to the infant until it rules on the issue of whether the hospital can remove the child from life support, NBC reported.
The Friday ruling came one day after a lower court rejected a request from Trinity Lewis, Tinslee’s mother, to issue an injunction blocking the hospital from taking action.
Doctors originally planned to remove the girl from life support in November and invoked the Texas “10-day rule” allowing a facility to withdraw life support even over the objections of family members. The law allows a facility to stop treatment after 10 days if another care provider cannot be found. The hospital said that it sought another facility for the girl, but without success.
Many on Twitter offered prayers, with some agreeing that the girl should be kept alive.
I am pro-choice BUT a child that has been born has a right to life, if her parents wants to continue life support Indefinitely they have a RIGHT too. #tinsleelewis should not be sentenced to death by a judge. Even the governor supports tinslee right to live…LET HER LIVE🗣❤️ https://t.co/yFnlDtTZnh
— 𝒫𝐿𝒰𝒮 𝒮𝐼𝒵𝐸 𝒦𝐼𝒩𝒢👑 (@dongotthatsauce) January 2, 2020
I agree, I don’t know what the miracle would entail- an end to her pain & suffering, or healing & complete recovery. Either way, I am praying for #TinsleeLewis, her family and the medical team.
Anyone else willing/able 3:00pm🙏
— LZBTH ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@baxter_lizzie) January 4, 2020
Kimberlyn Schwartz, a spokeswoman for Texas Right to Life, said the group was “grateful and relieved” after the appeals court ruled against the hospital.
“This gives us so much hope for Tinslee,” Schwartz said. “This is a prayer answered.”
The girl has been at Cook Children’s since her premature birth with a rare heart defect as well as chronic lung disease and severe chronic high blood pressure. She went into respiratory arrest in July and since then has been on full respiratory and cardiac support, according to KTVT.
After the Thursday ruling that gave the hospital the go-ahead to stop treatment, the facility outlined its position that the girl is in pain in a statement.
“Today’s decision from Chief Justice Sandee B. Marion restores the ability of the Cook Children’s medical staff to make the most compassionate and medically appropriate decisions for Tinslee as she struggles in pain to survive each day. This is an emotional and difficult situation for everyone involved, especially for this family who had high hopes that Tinslee would get better,” the hospital said in a statement, according to CBS News.
“Cook Children’s has been devoted to this precious baby her entire life, providing compassionate, round-the-clock, intensive care and attention since she arrived at our hospital 11 months ago,” the statement went on. “Her body is tired. She is suffering. It’s time to end this cycle because, tragically, none of these efforts will ever make her better.”
Tinslee’s mother, however, disagreed in a Thursday statement issued through Texas Right to Life.
“I am heartbroken over today’s decision because the judge basically said Tinslee’s life is NOT worth living. I feel frustrated because anyone in that courtroom would want more time just like I do if Tinslee were their baby. I hope that we can keep fighting through an appeal to protect Tinslee. She deserves the right to live. Please keep praying for Tinslee and thank you for supporting us during this difficult time,” she said prior to the ruling that blocked the lower court’s ruling from taking effect.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Gov. Greg Abbott had urged the appeals court to delay the order that would stop the girl’s treatment.
“I will continue to fight for Tinslee and my office will continue to use all necessary resources to ensure that she will not be deprived of her right to live,” Paxton said in a statement.
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