Published: Sun, October 21, 2018

Child at center of legal fight has died, her family says

Child at center of legal fight has died, her family says

Payton Summons' heart stopped beating around 8:30 p.m. Friday according to her family's attorney Justin A. Moore.

A Texas appeals court has agreed to allow another week for parents to find a facility to maintain life support for their 9-year-old daughter, who has been declared brain-dead.

Payton has been on a ventilator ever since. She was taken to hospital where doctors diagnosed her as having suffered a heart attack caused by a tumour in her chest that had stopped her blood circulation. She was placed on a ventilator before doctors confirmed that she did not have brain activity.

Doctors had first planned to take the girl off life support October 1, but State District Judge Melody Wilkinson granted a 14-day temporary restraining order that day.

They had wanted to remove her from life support on October 1, but her parents obtained a court order blocking the move for a week.

"Brain death, by definition, is irreversible", CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has said. Judge Melody Wilkinson issued a 14-day restraining order and this week issued a 7-day extension that expires on Monday.


A GoFundMe page was set up by Payton's family to help raise money to cover medical costs and legal fees.

Cook Children's says they are continuing to support the family during this hard time.

"There is no treatment that can be provided for her at Cook Children's or any other facility that will change that".

Attorneys for the hospital appealed, saying the extension asked hospital staff to maintain a dead person on ventilation and continue treating a "deceased deteriorating body". "We will continue to support this family during this hard time", the statement said.

"The hospital is reverting to legal wrangling for an attempt at preventing Payton's parents from looking for facilities to accept their baby girl", he wrote.

This week, a judge ruled that a temporary restraining order against the hospital should be extended until Monday.

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