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Baby Isaiah gets reprieve as judge asks for more time
Melissa Dominelli, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Wednesday, January 20, 2010 10:20AM MST
A city judge has decided she needs more time to consider the arguments in the case of an Alberta family battling Alberta Health Services (AHS) to keep their son on life support.
This means that baby Isaiah James May will not be disconnected from his ventilator Wednesday afternoon as originally planned by AHS and the Stollery Children's Hospital.
Madame Justice Michelle Crighton ruled Tuesday morning in an Edmonton courtroom she will come back with her decision on Jan. 27th after hearing from an independent expert in the emotionally-charged issue.
The lawyer for the May family wants the hospital and health authority to delay their plans for 90 days. Alberta Health Services told the court they are willing to wait only 30 days.
AHS released this statement Tuesday afternoon addressing its part in the court battle.
"The medical and ethical discussions for this family and care providers are the most difficult imaginable. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family. Our medical, nursing and allied health teams have and will continue to support this family in every way possible. It is appropriate to turn now to the courts for direction."
But the family's lawyer said they feel the 90-day timeline will allow the court to see if baby Isaiah makes any progression.
"The family has asked for 90 days in order to see how the child will develop, if the child will grow, if there's any improvement in the child's condition," said Rosanna Saccomani
When Isaiah was born in Oct. 2009, he suffered severe oxygen deprivation. Doctors say they've done everything they can. But the parents believe their son is showing signs of improvement.
The boy was born in the Rocky Mountain House Hospital after a difficult 40-hour delivery. On Oct. 24th, 2009 the boy was airlifted to hospital and admitted for treatment. The boy was then placed on a ventilator in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.
A letter sent to the parents by Alberta Health Services on Jan. 13th stated that the boy's doctors believed all medical procedures had been exhausted. They informed the parents that the boy will never recover from a severe lack of oxygen at birth.
"The diagnosis is unchanged; your son suffered severe anoxic brain injury at birth and has irreversible brain damage. There is no hope of recovery for Isaiah," the letter stated.
It went on to say, "Accordingly, it is with sadness that we are advising you that your treatment team will discontinue mechanical ventilation support to Isaiah after 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 20, 2010."
Isaiah's mother Rebecka May stated in court documents that her son has continued to grow since his birth.
May said medical staff informed the family that "Isaiah would not grow." But the woman noted that Isaiah has "continued to grow since his birth and now weighs ten pounds eleven ounces."
"He's growing, he's gaining weight, he's living. They told us he would never do any of that," Rebecka told CTV News.
May also mentioned in documents that her son's pupils dilate, his eyes open daily, and he moves his hands, arms and feet with "increasing frequency."
With files from David Ewasuk
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