Circuit court orders Michigan Medicine to delay taking boy off life-support

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 4:32pm

Michigan Medicene was ordered by Washtenaw County’s 22nd Circuit Court to delay taking a 14-year-old off life support Monday.

Michigan Medicene was ordered by Washtenaw County’s 22nd Circuit Court to delay taking a 14-year-old off life support Monday. Buy this photo
File Photo/Daily

On Monday, Washtenaw County’s 22nd Circuit Court ordered Michigan Medicine to delay taking 14-year-old Bobby Reyes off of life support. Doctors at Michigan Medicine declared Reyes brain dead after he suffered an asthma attack and later went into cardiac arrest on Saturday, Sept. 21.

After examining Reyes for signs of brain activity, doctors at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital determined he was not going to recover and doctors planned to take him off of life support on Friday, Sept. 27. In response, Reyes’ family reached out to an attorney for a court order that would extend Reyes’ time on life support. 

Mary Masson, the director of public relations for Michigan Medicine, told The Daily in an email statement the hospital would continue to support Reyes’ family in any way possible.

“All of us empathize with the extraordinarily emotional process that families facing such matters go through,” Masson wrote. “Michigan Medicine follows the State of Michigan law on determination of death, and conducts extensive testing before determining there is brain death due to the irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain. Our team of highly experienced and specialized nurses, doctors and other health professionals exhaust every available option to help patients who are critically ill.”

Reyes’ mother, Sarah Jones, explained in an interview with MLive after the order was signed she believes her son will get better if given the chance to heal.

“He’s made improvements. His heart is beating more, and he hums when we touch him, so he knows we are there,” Jones said. “People can come out of it, but not many people make it because hospitals will do a few tests then call it quits. We know Jesus will heal him in time. It had only been a week since he was hospitalized.”

Masson explained if the family decides to go to another hospital Michigan Medicine would help transfer the patient.

“If another facility provides technology or services not available at Michigan Medicine — and the patient’s family chooses to go elsewhere — our team will facilitate a transfer,” Masson wrote. “And our care teams work hard providing families with extensive support when their children’s  health continues to worsen despite treatment.” 

After Michigan Medicine determined Reyes was past recovery and would no longer receive life support, a Facebook page titled “Save Bobby” was created by Reyes’ family and community members. The page is intended to share information about potential doctors and offer support for Reyes’ family. In the description on Facebook, Reyes’ family pleads for more time to arrange alternate medical care. 

“He’s only been in the hospital a few days and they’re already telling us that they’re giving up and they will be making the decision whether we agree or not,” the description reads. 

A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the family. The page, which was published five days ago, has raised nearly $8,000 to help pay for legal fees associated with the court order.