Mother tells judge her daughter on life support is ‘sassy’

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (AP) – The mother of a 10-month-old girl on life support testified on Thursday that her daughter is “sassy” and enjoys cartoons, as a Texas judge considered whether a Fort Worth hospital can remove life-sustaining treatment because doctors said the infant is in pain and her condition will never improve.

The family of Tinslee Lewis is asking an appellate judge to issue an injunction to ensure the Cook Children’s Medical Centre doesn’t take her off life support.

Doctors at the Fort Worth hospital had planned to remove Tinslee from life support on November 10 after invoking Texas’ 10-day rule, which can be employed when a family disagrees with doctors who said life-sustaining treatment should be stopped. The law stipulates that if the hospital’s ethics committee agrees with doctors, treatment can be withdrawn after 10 days if a new provider can’t be found to take the patient.

Hospital officials said they’ve reached out to more than 20 facilities to see if one would take Tinslee, but all agreed that further care is futile.

Tinslee has never left Cook Children’s since her premature birth. The hospital said she has a rare heart defect and suffers from chronic lung disease and severe chronic high blood pressure. She hasn’t come off a ventilator since going into respiratory arrest in early July and requires full respiratory and cardiac support, deep sedation and to be medically paralysed. The hospital said doctors believe she’s suffering.

File photo of Tinslee Lewis. PHOTO: AP