FORT WORTH, T.X. — A Texas judge granted 9-month-old Tinslee Lewis’ family a temporary restraining order against a children’s hospital who planned to take her off life-support.
Tinslee was born with a rare heart defect called Ebstein’s anomaly and suffers from chronic lung disease and severe chronic pulmonary hypertension, Cook Children’s Health Care System spokesperson Winifred King said in a statement. All of which has kept her in Cook Children’s intensive care unit and on life-sustaining treatment for most of her life, King said.
Her physicians believe she is suffering, and her condition is irreversible, King said, so the hospital planned to remove her life-support.
“While we believe every child’s life is sacred, we also believe that no child should be sentenced to a life of pain. Removing this beautiful child from mechanical ventilation is a gut-wrenching decision for Cook Children’s physicians and staff, however, we feel it is in her best interest to free her from artificial, medical intervention and suffering,” King said.
But an order signed Sunday and filed the next day stopped the hospital from ending treatment for Tinslee at least until November 23.
Tinslee’s mother, Trinity Lewis, told reporters at a press conference Sunday that the order gives them more time to find a more permanent situation for her daughter.
“I thought they was going to pull the plug on my baby. I didn’t think that she was going to still be here today. And that’s what I’m grateful for,” Lewis said. “It was a big relief because I’ve been running around all week trying to get help until Sunday, and then I finally got what I’ve been praying for.”
“She deserves the chance to fight for her life, and she’s got a troop that will help her 100% and above,” Lewis’ great aunt, Beverly Winston, told reporters. “That’s our baby, and we want to give her all the chances there are.”
King said Cook Children’s has already reached out to nearly 20 facilities from Los Angeles to Philadelphia to see if another hospital would take over her care. But they all agreed with Cook Children’s assessment of her condition and said there is nothing more they can do, according to King.
King added that doctors have had to sedate and paralyze the infant to keep her from pulling at the lines connected to her ventilator. King said they believe she is reacting in pain when not sedated or paralyzed.