Hospital delays plan to end life support for 9-month-old as family fights to continue treatment

National News

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — A 9-month-old girl in Texas is at the center of a legal battle between her family and the hospital taking care of her, CBS affiliate KTVT reports.

Tinslee Lewis’ doctors say she’s in pain, and it’s time to take her off life support.

But her family says they need more time to find a hospital that will admit her for treatment.

Now that the family has a temporary restraining order, they’ve got until at least Nov. 22 to make that happen.

“She’s a happy baby. She loves to cuddle. She’s a good baby,” said Trinity Lewis, her mother.

Tinslee has never been outside the ICU.

She was born prematurely nine months ago with a rare heart defect called Ebstein’s Anomaly.

Baby Tinslee also has a chronic lung disease and has been on a ventilator since July.

“She deserves the chance to fight for her life, and she’s got a troop that will help her 100% and above,” said Beverly Wilson, Tinslee’s great aunt.

Tinslee got another chance.

“I thought they was going to pull the plug on my baby,” Lewis said. “I didn’t think she was still going to be here today and that’s what I’m grateful for.

Doctors at Cook Children’s Hospital believe Tinslee’s condition is irreversible and she is in pain.

They notified her mother the baby girl would be taken off life support Sunday at 5 p.m. unless the family could find another hospital to care for her.

But a temporary restraining order has bought them more time.

“It was a big relief because I’ve been running around all week trying to get help ’til Sunday. And then I finally got what I’ve been praying for,” Lewis said.

Tinslee still doesn’t have another place to go yet.

The hospital says it has reached out to nearly 20 facilities across the country including John’s Hopkins and children’s hospitals in Philadelphia and Los Angeles and none are willing to accept Tinslee as a patient.

“That’s what we’re focused on, is to find a solution. We want to find a way to allow her to have a permanent, wonderful blessed life,” said Tan Parker, a state representative

So the fight continues.

“That’s our baby and we want to give her all the chances they are,” Wilson said.

If the family doesn’t find another hospital to take care of Tinslee, they’ll head back to court to see if they can renew that restraining order.

This case involves the state’s 10-day rule.

Hospitals can stop life-sustaining treatment if doctors think it’s hopeless.

The family is then given just 10 days to transfer their loved one to a new facility.

But advocates say Tinslee’s story is another reason why this law needs to be changed.

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