DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Heartbreaking news for a North Texas family fighting to save their 9-year-old daughter’s life.
At the end of an hours-long hearing Wednesday, State District Judge Melody Wilkinson denied the plea of Payton Summons’ family to extend an order keeping her on life support at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.
Family members say the little girl still has a heartbeat. Hospital attorneys say she’s brain dead, and should be removed from a ventilator.
Payton’s mother, Tiffany Hofstetter, held back tears, as her legal battle to save her daughter reached its end.
Payton has cancer and according to the hospital now has a tumor blocking her circulation and putting pressure on her lungs and heart.
The little girl was staying overnight with her grandmother when she woke up screaming that she couldn’t breathe and then collapsed. Payton went into cardiac arrest and has been on life support at Cook Children’s for more than two weeks.
Her parents won a temporary restraining order to keep the machines keeping her alive plugged in, giving them time to find another hospital and doctor willing to treat her.
Cook Children’s attorneys said the hospital contacted 28 facilities capable of accepting Payton as a patient and keeping her alive. They all declined.
“There is no treatment that can be provided for her at Cook Children’s or any other facility,” said Cook Children’s Medical Center attorney Laura Copeland. “It was our hope that the court would make a determination that would give this family some closure. Unfortunately, that did not happen and we remain in legal limbo.”
The temporary restraining order expires Monday, October 15 at 1:20 p.m.
Attorneys for Payton’s family say doctors “can” legally disconnect the little girl from life support, but they aren’t sure exactly what action they will take next week.