Dying to Believe

Number 113 in a series

Sometimes religious belief is downright embarrassing:

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — After battling for more than four years to keep a comatose daughter declared brain dead from being issued a California death certificate, Nailah Winkfield forcefully told mourners at her daughter’s funeral service Friday to stop letting doctors “pull the plug on your people.”

The San Francisco Bay Area congregation gave Winkfield a standing ovation for fighting to keep her daughter on life support and taking on the medical establishment in the brain death debate between science and religion.

Wait, there’s more:

Winkfield refused to accept the California doctors’ conclusions and took her daughter to New Jersey, a state that accommodates religions that don’t recognize brain death.

The girl was kept on life support and received nursing care until New Jersey doctors declared her dead last week, saying the 17-year-old died of excessive bleeding after an abdominal operation.

There is more that makes the story additionally interesting. The girl’s tonsillectomy was not routine:

She underwent surgery on December 9, 2013 at the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. After the procedure to remove her tonsils, adenoids and extra sinus tissue Jahi was alert and talking to doctors and even requested a Popsicle.

The girl’s family figures that God played a hand:

“My child was never dead, she was always alive and I thank God that the state of New Jersey realized that and that’s why she has a whole other death certificate with a whole other cause of death,” said Winkfield.

I’m guessing that God was taking the day off when Winkfield’s daughter died.

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