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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Parents of brain-damaged baby win reprieve from ventilator disconnect

By Jodie Sinnema, Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON — A severely brain-damaged infant who has become a medical cause-celebre around the globe will remain on life support for at least another few weeks, an Edmonton court ruled Wednesday.

"It definitely gives us some more breathing space," said a relieved father Isaac May.

Wednesday's ruling gives lawyers more time to select medical experts to assess what's best for the infant and delays the matter from returning to court until Feb. 19.

May's son, Isaiah, was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck Oct. 24 in Rocky Mountain House, Alta., about 220 kilometres southwest of Edmonton, after a difficult 40-hour labour.

Deprived of oxygen and having inhaled amniotic fluid and fecal matter, he was taken by air ambulance to the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, where he has been on a ventilator since. He is fed through a tube and doctors there say there is no hope of recovery. They had urged May and his wife, Rebecka, to disconnect Isaiah from life support.

But they disagreed and sought another opinion. They went to court and initially got a weeklong extension.

"We've definitely had some nervous days but we've had a lot of time to have our cuddles and hold Isaiah too," said Isaac. "It's been all right."

In court documents, the parents pointed to the fact that Isaiah opens his eyes, brings his knees to his tummy and moves his hands, feet and arms.

"He is doing everything they said he would not do," Rebecka, 23, said recently outside court.

"Every time I hold my son and look in his eyes it gives me the strength to face another day," she said…

Parents of brain-damaged baby win reprieve from ventilator disconnect

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