Fort Worth

Court of Appeals Grants Emergency Relief for Baby on Life Support; Texas AG

This comes just one day after a judge gave the hospital the green light to remove Tinslee Lewis from life support against her family's wishes

Trinity Lewis

On Friday night, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted that the Fort Worth Court of Appeals has granted baby Tinslee Lewis emergency relief while the legal issue is being resolved.

The emergency relief will prevent the hospital from removing life-sustaining care while the appeal is ongoing.

This comes just one day after a judge gave Cook Children's hospital the green light to remove Tinslee from life support despite her family's protest.

Joe Nixon, the attorney representing the family of Tinslee Lewis, said the child's mother Trinity Lewis was disappointed in the decision.

"She wants her baby to live," Nixon said. "We believe that under the United States and Texas Constitution that it is Trinity’s decision and not the hospital’s."

On Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to the Second Court of Appeals, in support of the emergency relief.

Lewis has not left the hospital since her premature birth and has been on a ventilator since she went into respiratory arrest in July, according to hospital staff.

The child suffers from a heart defect and has undergone three open-heart surgeries. She also has chronic lung disease and severe chronic high blood pressure, and the hospital has argued that doctors believe she is suffering.

Wini King, a spokesperson for Cook Children's, said Lewis' case was emotional and difficult for everyone involved, including the medical staff taking care of her.

"But I’m going to be quite honest with you, at some point…Tinslee is going to make a choice. Her little body is so tired, and she’s been through so much," King told reporters Thursday. "What she’s showing us is that she’s suffering. She is in pain. She is sedated. She is paralyzed. She can’t move and we’re trying to keep her as quiet as we can so that she doesn’t get any worse. We’re doing things to her. Not for her."

The hospital will honor their agreement with Lewis' family and allow them to continue to search for another medical over the next seven days, but they will not make any 'sudden' or 'out of the blue' decisions, King said.

The Cook Children’s staff had planned to remove Tinslee from life support in early November, after invoking Texas' "10-day rule," which can be employed when a family disagrees with doctors who say life-sustaining treatment should be stopped. The law stipulates if the hospital's ethics committee agrees with doctors, treatment can be withdrawn after 10 days if a new provider cannot be found to take the patient.

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