Texas – Judge denied further life support for 9-year-old girl
Cook’s Children Medical Center set to remove her life support on Monday
Payton Summons, 9, has been kept alive in a hospital in Fort Worth, TX, but her life support is set to be turned off on Monday.
On Tuesday, September 25th, Payton was staying with her grandmother.
“She suddenly woke up and screamed for her grandmother to help her and said that she couldn’t breathe,”said Payton’s mother, Tiffany Hoffsetter, in an interview with CNN, “then she collapsed.”
Payton was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center, and doctors were able to revive her heartbeat. Her brain, however, ceased to show any sign of activity.
According to the hospital, Payton had a cancerous tumor close to her heart that cut off her circulation, and the doctors believe it to be the cause of her cardiac arrest and the damage to her brain.
Payton’s parents had to request a temporary court order for Cook Children’s to put her on life support as the state of Texas considers a person without any brain function, regardless of cardiovascular activity, dead.
On Wednesday, October 10th, Tarrant County Judge Melody Wilkinson denied the extension request for Payton’s life support, stating that “the parents did not meet the burden of proof for injunctive relief.”
Justin Moore, a lawyer for Payton’s parents, addressed his concern for the parents and other families in Texas.
“This presents a great issue for parents in the state of Texas. They don’t know how to proceed when they have a child put in this condition as Payton Summons has been put in,”said Moore in a statement to CNN, “I believe our fight is going to continue on in order to carve out some real narrow language in the law to provide courts, lawyers and parents guidance because that’s what they need in times like this.”
Moore added that Payton’s case is one of his most trying experiences as a lawyer.
Payton’s parents are currently contacting medical facilities that could take Payton and put her on life support. According to Paul Stafford, another lawyer for the family, the parents have already contacted over 20 facilities, but the majority of them have declined to take their daughter.
Stafford said that two facilities might take Payton if the parents allow certain procedures to be performed prior to admittance; these procedures, however, could be life threatening to Payton.