Living in suburban New Jersey, some 3,000 miles from home, has proven to be lonely and rife with seemingly inescapable hardship for the family of Jahi McMath, an Oakland teenager who was declared brain dead 14 months ago in California, her home state.
Three weeks ago, McMath’s mother, Nailah Spears-Winkfield, was in a panic because of an impending blizzard, Christopher Dolan, their San Francisco-based attorney, said. Unaccustomed to the snow, she feared the power might go out, shutting off the machines that keep her daughter alive. She had to borrow money from relatives to buy a generator, he said.
More recently the family faced eviction from their apartment in Somerset for non-payment of $3,375 in rent, according to court records.
Dolan said the rent issue was an administrative error but that money for Jahi’s parents is extremely tight, and getting even tighter as the family waits out a controversial legal battle in California to prove that their daughter is not brain dead.
“Nailah is living from hand to mouth,” said Dolan, a high-profile criminal attorney in the Bay Area who is working pro bono for the family.
“She’s out of her element in New Jersey, but that’s the place where they can’t kill her daughter. She has a firm religious conviction that her daughter isn’t dead. You can see the devotion of this mother to her child. This family has given up everything to take care of Jahi.”
The family made national headlines last year after they fought in court to remove McMath from the Oakland Hospital to bring her to New Jersey.
Unlike California, New Jersey accommodates brain-dead patients who belong to a religion that does not accept the diagnosis as a final verdict for death.
McMath’s mother, stepfather, Marvin Winkfield, and her younger sister have been living in the apartment in the Somerset section of Franklin Township since Aug. 15, 2014, court records show. It is here that McMath is hooked up to various machines keep her organs functioning and feed her, Dolan said. She’s under custodial and assisted-nursing care around the clock, he said.
Since the family has been in New Jersey, it has received encouraging news that could pave the way for their return to Oakland. It has been months since she has required any hospital care, he said. New MRI and EEG studies show Jahi does have brain activity, he said. Videos show Jahi responding to requests from her mother to move her hand and foot, he said…
This story comes from a Feb. 13 posting on NJ.com.
Thank you for this update……I will pray for Jahi and her family……My first part of this prayer would be that people would help them financially…..do they have a “Go Fund Me” account set up?
Oh, of course there is a GFM. They post lousy updates, a few bucks roll in, then when they get desperate , the cycle repeats.
@Ann where have you been the past year and 2 months?!. Under a rock?. The family set up a fund raiser right off and have been rolling in other peoples money ever since. Notice her very expensive purses and expensive meals she makes sure to instagram to her ‘supporters’. Those that thought the money was for Jahi. LOL nope that money is not needed by the dead little girl. She needs a funeral and mama nails(Jahi’s mother) needs a prison cell. She will just love the color of prison garb and all the fancy concoctions that can be made using commissary food items.
” Unlike California, New Jersey accommodates brain-dead patients who belong to a religion that does not accept the diagnosis as a final verdict for death. ”
Why is California against Freedom of Religion?
Why is California a cesspool of immoral laws ?
You have it all wrong about California.
If New Jersey is so accommodating for brain dead patients then why isn’t Medicaide paying for her care?
Dolan wants to get the death certificate reversed so that Jahi will be eligible for Medicaid and other benefits. If New Jersey has a law that accommodates brain dead patients then Why isn’t New Jersey Medicaid paying for Jahi ‘s health care?
She already has a death certificate. Then can have this reversed if they do an IN PERSON neuro exam and it shows she is no longer brain dead.
Let us pray for this young woman and family, and let us help where we can.
Anne T .. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not smart enough to know if Jahi is here on Earth, or with her Father in heaven, but let’s all pray for her and her heroic family, and Mr. Dolan too.
I’m smart enough to say she’s dead. As for her mother, she’s greedy and not a good person.
Willard, you have made some very strong accusations about the mother of this child. Please send videos and documentation, or I suggest you top posting if it just rumors you are passing around.
Check out the first comment by Medication Time at the top of the page where the facebook posts are. Click “see more” and you will find a kesselrun link . Open it and you will find a lot of documentation.
I did post a link here for you, it was taken down. look up Heidi Flori jahi McMath , there it will tell you what her conditions is and was back in Dec. 2013 when she was declared brain dead. Also look up Mother Of The Year Jahi McMath, there you will see the real mother.
Willard, after reading some of the stories, I do not believe this poor woman is greedy as you said. I think it is more likely, as one article says, that she feels guilty about having trusted the doctors in the first place to do the operation, cannot forgive herself for trusting them and just cannot trust the doctors again to make the end of my decision. It does seem as if the ventilator is the only thing keeping her child alive, and more than likely she would just pass on in a natural death if they unplugged it. But I am no medical expert.
Correction to sixth line: “end of life decision”, not “end of my decision”. Sorry if I created any confusion.
I pray they stop interfering with God’s will. Ventilators are supposed to save the lives of people who have a chance for recovery, not to preserve a deceased person’s body because the family does not have faith in God to know and do what is best for his child.
Pray for her family to trust in God.
I’m glad she’s in a Catholic hospital!
She’s not. She’s in a private apartment.
She was only in a hospital for a few months. St. Peter’s in New Brunswick, NJ admitted her in March (as stated by the lawyer and written in court documents). In mid-July, Jonathan Fellus, one of the area physicians who was instrumental in bringing her to NJ, had his medical license revoked for misconduct involving another patient (per news reports and NJ state records). At that same time, the lawyer announced that she would be leaving St. Peter’s. She has been in home care since mid-August 2014 (the exact date is stated in the CA court records).
This is a poorly written article. First of all, Omari wasn’t even there, he was in Mexico. Secondly, the surgery happened in the am, she was in ICU. In the evening the family was with her, and that’s when something happened that they no about and are not saying what happened. The grandmother suctioned Jahi, along with mom and stepfather. They all admitted to it on camera.
“do they have a “Go Fund Me” account set up?” omg yes and they have blown through $64 that is SIXTY FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS on crap for mom, fancy dinners out for mom, bling for the family, bottles of wine, and this is ALL public knowledge so don’t even start by saying im lying. mom has posted many pic’s of all her fun she is having while in new jersey on her instagram.. she has an addiction to micheal kors purses, sunglasses shoes etc so if your going to donate to help just send her a micheal kors gift certificate, she will be happier with that.
Cat .. are you sure? Where did you get your info? It seems to me that the rent on a seperate home, all the medical equiptment and the generator plus air fares for family members and God knows what other reasonable expenses would eat up $64,000 pretty quickly.
The family insists she is alive, then they should want to clarify this immediately. There are simple required bedside tests to declare a person dead. The family has not provided any evidence that this testing was again performed on her by a state board credentialed neurologist or that they will permit this testing. In fact, there should be two such examinations completed. The family has failed to provide the required evidence.
Obviously someone here isn’t telling the whole truth.
Why is it that so many of you commenting here seem perfectly comfortable with doctors deciding when the soul leaves the body? I doubt doctors who side with the “brain death” criteria would be comfortable deciding when the soul enters the body.
Church doctrine says that doctors it is the role of doctors not a church official to determine that a death has occurred. They are not determining when the soul leaves the body, they are attesting to a fact that has already taken place.
“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us”. When Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, He did not have a functioning brain at that time, yet scripture tells us that he dwelt among us.