Life support

MANDEL: Sick Kids fights parents to remove baby from intensive care

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Kaiomi Hall-Kemp will celebrate her first birthday on Saturday in the intensive care unit at Sick Kids Hospital, her tiny body hooked up to machines that keep her alive.


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Her parents believe that prayer and positive energy will heal their baby. His doctors believe his “deep, unresponsive coma” is irreversible and after almost two months of no improvement, it is time to stop the life-sustaining treatment.

So on Kaiomi’s birthday, the opposing parties will be back at the Consent and Capacity Board, where Sick Kids argues that her mother Brittany Hall and father Daniel Kemp are not acting in their best interests. and should be sidelined as decision makers.

According to the hospital’s clinical record filed with the board of directors, Kaomi drowned on July 8 while temporarily left unattended in a bathtub with her sister and suffered cardiac arrest from lack of oxygen. . By the time she was resuscitated by paramedics and rushed to Humber River Hospital, she was already showing signs of “severe brain damage.”


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After his transfer to Sick Kids, a brain MRI on July 12 confirmed severe brain damage with “irreversible brainstem damage.” A week later, the pediatric intensive care team met Kaiomi’s parents with a grim view of her prognosis.

They said their baby remained fully dependent on mechanical ventilation, showed no signs of consciousness or arousal, could not regulate his core temperature, and was destined to have repeated episodes of ventilation-associated pneumonia (VAP).

They recommended palliative care and the withdrawal of life support.

Her parents refused.

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When their recommendation was repeated in subsequent meetings, Kaiomi’s mother grew increasingly angry and accusatory. A member of her legal team said she believed they were “trying to kill her daughter”.


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On July 19, she claimed that one of Kaiomi’s doctors told her that keeping her child alive was not worth the high “cost” of the drugs – a charge the doctor firmly denied during cross-examination during the audience.

According to the hospital, the parents insisted that it was against “their faith and their culture” to listen to anything “negative” about their daughter’s condition. They became so suspicious of her treatment team that they refused further meetings to hear their medical advice and questioned and interfered with “all aspects” of their routine care for their daughter.

On August 10, the hospital sent its ultimatum: “It is the position of the healthcare team which, by refusing to consent to our recommended treatment
plan on behalf of Kaiomi, you are not acting in Kaiomi’s best interests, ”their letter read.


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“Once again, we are very sorry that Kaiomi suffered such a severe brain injury without any prospect of a cure; it is humiliating to have no medical solution to her condition, but the time has come to withdraw those therapies which are a source of continued harm, are of no benefit to Kaiomi, and only prolong her state of unresponsive coma.

Her parents were told that if they didn’t agree by August 12, Sick Kids would go to the Consent and Capacity Board (CCB) to determine whether Hall and Kemp were acting in Kaiomi’s best interests.

And that’s what they did.

The CWB hearing is scheduled to end on September 1.

Mother’s lawyer is “alarmed” by what she calls a rush to remove Kaomi from the resuscitation system – so much so that the chairman of the board has refused an adjournment while the parents’ lawyers seek an expert to challenge Sick Kids and even scheduled the hearing. to continue Kaiomi’s first birthday.

“Her mother’s fervent wish was not to leave her daughter’s bedside to appear in court,” complains Saron Gebresellassi.

While the medical prognosis is dire, the lawyer says she is looking for alternative treatments while Kaiomi’s mother has assembled a team of “prayer warriors” from around the world to lure her daughter.

“It’s just too early,” she said, “to throw in the towel on this little girl.

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