Temporary restraining order forces Texas hospital to delay ending life support for baby in ICU 9 months

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Saturday, November 23, 2019
A judge granted her family a temporary restraining order against the hospital today, meaning doctors have to keep treating Tinslee until at least Nov. 22.

DALLAS-FORT WORTH, Texas -- A 9-month-old girl in Texas is at the center of a legal battle between her family and the hospital taking care of her.

Her doctors said she's in pain and it's time to take her off life support, but her family says they need more time to find a hospital that will admit her for treatment.

Now, a temporary restraining order has given the family until at least November 22 to make that happen.

"She's a happy baby. She loves to cuddle. She's a good baby," said the little girl's mother, Trinity Lewis.

Tinslee Lewis has never been outside the ICU. She was born premature with a rare heart defect called Ebstein's anomaly. Not only that, but Baby Tinslee also has a chronic lung disease and has been on a ventilator since July.

"She deserves the chance to fight for her life, and she's got a troop that will help her 100% and above," said Tinslee's great aunt Beverly Winston.

Monday, Tinslee got temporary approval for that fighting chance.

"I thought they was going to pull the plug on my baby," Trinity said. "I didn't think she was still going to be here today and that's what I'm grateful for."

Doctors at Cook Children's Hospital believe Tinslee's condition is irreversible and she is in pain.

They notified her mother the baby girl would be taken off life support Sunday night unless the family could find another hospital to care for her.

"It was a big relief because I've been running around all week trying to get help till Sunday," Trinity said, "and then I finally got what I've been praying for."

While they got the temporary order, Tinslee still doesn't have another place to go yet.

Cook Children's said it has reached out to nearly 20 facilities across the country including Johns Hopkins and children's hospitals in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, but none are willing to accept Tinslee as a patient.

"That's what we're focused on, is to find a solution. We want to find a way to allow her to have a permanent, wonderful blessed life," said Texas State Representative Tan Parker.

"That's our baby and we want to give her all the chances there are," Winston, said.

If the family doesn't find another hospital to take care of Tinslee, they'll head back to court to see if they can renew that restraining order.

This case involves the state's 10-day rule where hospitals can stop life-sustaining treatment if doctors think it's hopeless. Families are then given just 10 days to transfer their loved one to a new facility.

Advocates say Tinslee's story is another reason why this law needs to be changed.