Keeping the faith.
A California family has been given a small gift by a local judge who ruled that their 2-year-old son, Israel Stinson, could remain on life support for one more week after an asthma attack left him without oxygen for 40 minutes on April 1.
U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller ruled that the family could have an additional week to appeal her decision and possibly make arrangements for their son's long-term care after two hospitals have determined that he is brain dead. The court did deny a plea by Israel's mother, Jonee Fonseca, for a permanent order while accommodations are being made.
"He's alive, he's definitely alive," Fonseca told CBS Sacramento. "Now not only is he responding to our touch and our voice, but I've seen him take breaths off the ventilator, it's a very hopeful and good feeling."
A neonatologist who examined Israel told the news station that he believes the toddler could recover with treatment. "It's helped to maintain his life, but somewhere in the United States, there's got to be a doctor who will stand up and treat him," said Dr. Paul Byrne, who is the president of the Life Guardian Foundation in Ohio.
Israel's father, Nate Stinson, says that he has not given up hope. "I do feel like it's getting harder, but we made it this far and made it farther than anyone else," he told CBS Sacramento. "I believe that God is with us, and we are going to keep pushing on."
Judge Mueller sympathizes with Fonseca's hope, but believes that the possibilities of any kind of recovery are next to impossible. "While Ms. Fonseca's maternal instincts and moral position are completely understandable, the concerns reviewed here suggest she is unlikely to obtain the relief she seeks," the judge wrote.
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center's attorney voiced their concern that Israel's family is depriving the toddler of the "dignity of death." Dr. Chris Palkowski said in a statement, "Our hearts go out to this family as they cope with the irreversible brain death of their son." He did, however, add that the hospital will follow the court's order.
Prayers up for Israel and his family. Hopefully they find the miracle they're looking for.
(Photo: Blend Images/ERproductions Ltd)