Wife, mom to two...love chocolate, trendy cupcakes, shoes, hot deals and throwing festive bashes...usually with chocolate.

More from this author »

Double Tragedy: Jahi McMath and Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland


For weeks, the nation has watched as the family of Jahi McMath has given press conference after press conference.

The story is a tragic one. A young girl undergoes a “routine tonsillectomy” at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. During the first evening post-op it was reported that “blood started pouring out of her nose and mouth.” After being resuscitated and receiving four transfusions, she remained unconscious when it was determined there was swelling in her brain. Three days after her surgery, she was declared brain dead.

Double Tragedy: Jahi McMath and Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland

Sympathy poured out for the family and for the young girl. Her family did not want her to be taken off of the ventilator prior to Christmas. But then the story continued. Court orders were filed and despite being examined by multiple physicians, not all affiliated with Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, all of whom declared her brain dead, Jahi’s family continued to declare that she was alive, ask for prayers and fight for her to be kept on the ventilator.

Jahi is no longer a resident of Children’s Hospital. She was released to the coroner, who then released her to her mother, and was then taken to an undisclosed facility to “heal”.

While tragic for the McMath family, there’s another tragedy in this story and that’s the negative publicity for Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.

As the family tweets about being “free” from Children’s, and the family lawyer talks about all that Children’s withheld from Jahi, a hospital and it’s staff is bound by laws, forced to stay silent as a smear campaign and likely a lawsuit surround them.

As the mother of a developmentally delayed child, I’ve spent more time than I’d like within the walls of Children’s Hospital.

Imagine bringing your one year old in for a flu shot and leaving the pediatrician’s office with the news that your toddler’s head size had jumped so significantly that there was suspicion of a brain tumor. It happened to us, and our MRI was scheduled a week later at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. It was the longest week imaginable. We stayed home. I cried when the kids went to bed, I googled (not good), I wanted to be alone, and I spent seven days barely going through the motions.

Fast forward to the day of the MRI when my husband and I took a fasting and grouchy one year old to Children’s Hospital. Although he had suffered from a cold the week prior and had greatly improved, when he was examined upon arrival, he was deemed too congested to be safely placed under anesthesia. While grateful for the caution of the staff, I was devastated.

The strain of the wait had taken its toll, and as I dissolved into a puddle and my husband sat with his head in his hands, we were given another option. If he did truly have a brain tumor, they wanted to move quickly. While it wouldn’t be a complete scan, we had the choice to place him in the MRI tube awake with me on top of him holding him down. We would not be able to see everything during the scan, but if a mass was there, it would be seen. While regardless we would have to return for the complete scan, they were giving our family knowledge. And at that point, that was a huge gift to our family.

I would have done anything.

Minutes later, my wide awake one year old was restrained and strapped onto a wooden board. With a cage over his face, they attached an angled mirror to it allowing his eyes to meet mine during the procedure. As I started to cry, the nurses surrounding the MRI machine hugged me and told me to be strong, that he needed to look at me to stay calm and then they slid my son and I into a pediatric-sized MRI tube.

It was loud. And tight. And his sobbing eyes locked onto mine for six minutes as I laid over him and tried to smile and tell him everything was going to be okay.

And it was. By the time we had been slid out and his restraints had been removed, the doctors were telling us that while we did need to come back, his initial scan had come back clear. They took care of our son, but they also took care of our family.

When you have a child who is not well, there is a strength to be found within yourself. You will experience sights and sounds that will be imprinted in your memory forever. And for me, many of these occurrences have happened at this hospital.

I’ve sat and listened to the sound of an MRI machine beep for over an hour taking photos of my son’s brain searching for a tumor alongside parents of a seventeen-year-old who were waiting to see how far his cancer had spread.

I’ve waited for my son to come out of surgery watching a little girl play who had come in to get the port in her heart checked.

I sang along with tears in my eyes as four nurses, a surgeon and an anesthesiologist  all wearing surgical masks sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” to try to comfort my son as he fought and squirmed against being put under before a surgery.

I’ve been brought juice boxes and crackers and Kleenex by nurses just coming by to check on me as I wait for test results.

I’ve sat next to hospital beds in recovery rooms waiting for my son to wake up as nurses pile my bag with hand knit hats and homemade pillow cases and stuffed animals to take home for later.

My son was bumped to the front of the surgery schedule when a scheduling nurse felt that our surgery time was too late and too long for an infant to fast. Not because I asked but just because she thought it would be better.

The people who work in this hospital are angels and heroes to many, many families.

Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland distributed 139 million dollars of charity care and benefits in 2012. Seventy-five percent of the pediatricians working at the hospital are on the “Best Doctors in America” list. Lives are literally being saved every day at this hospital.

The story of what happened to Jahi is unimaginable and devastating. However there are countless positive stories leaving the hospital every day and have been for the last one hundred years. And that shouldn’t be forgotten, regardless of tweets or statements from a very chatty lawyer.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment

Comments (61)

  1. Jim Bond 01/12/2014 at 2:49 am

    This is an exact quote from another comment made by you regarding your child. It’s tragic that you cannot follow your own advice. These are YOUR words-“There’s a lot of judgement in the world. Judgement between moms, judgement between friends, and judgement between strangers. Save your judgement. Your journey is your own, and you can’t possibly know what another person’s journey may be. Open your mind, open your heart and put your negative thoughts away. You may not know the whole story, not matter what you think it may be.”

    Please follow your own advice.

  2. Jim Bond 01/12/2014 at 2:41 am

    “Save Your judgment” Sound familiar? Ma’am, you are terribly naïve and hypocritical. What does your experience have to do with another parent’s nightmare? There is yet another tragedy, your attempted whitewash of the hospital’s tragic care of the McMath child. Your experience with the staff and or hospital administrators has NOTHING to do with the McMath’s loss of their child. Although I’m sure it was not intentional, the painful truth is that someone employed by the hospital made a terrible error that has, by their own admission, resulted in a once healthy child being placed on life support. Tragic indeed.

  3. Kim Kouri 01/11/2014 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you. I’m glad you spoke up. This is such a sad situation and understandable that these poor parents are so upset but it is inaccurate to portray one this hospital as anything short of superb. So sorry for all involved. 🙁

  4. Yoli 01/11/2014 at 9:56 am

    Your story needed to be heard. Thank you for sharing. God bless you & all who suffer through this type of devastating experience. Thank God for Children’s Hospital & Medical Centers & medical professionals in all of our United States.

  5. DRCousineau 01/11/2014 at 7:42 am

    Without a doubt free publicity of a lawyer jumping on the bandwagon to lead a cause for any injustice rendered will sell and profit more news than the story of a hospital doing its usual expected thing.
    How’s that saying go? … One ‘Ahh Sh*t cancels out one hundred ‘Ata Boys!’ .

  6. christina 01/11/2014 at 1:38 am

    Without a doubt iam certain Oakland Childrens Hospital did all they could for Jahi.

  7. JoAnn Bergesen 01/10/2014 at 11:25 pm

    I agree! My 1st born was born w/ a birth defect that was repaired in stages at Children’s. They are wonderful! When surgery is done on someone that has other medical issues like this girl did, probs can arise through no fault of the doc’s or hospital.

  8. Eleanor Southwick 01/10/2014 at 7:18 pm

    Tonsillectomies have become so refined and common that this generation has forgotten that even a tonseilectomy can become fatal. Neither doctors nor hospitals are God. Each human body is unique and to some degree, unknown territory with unknown risks. Medical professionals can only give your child the use of their hard earned skills, devotion to healing because of their love for helping mankind and their effort to make the best decisions.

    Out of my five children, each having had a tonsillectomy, one had the misfortune to hemorrhage. Fortunately we stayed with him and were able to quickly notify the overworked medical staff and all turned out well.

    Unless there has been out right negligence we need to think twice before we are ready to destroy outstanding institutions and personnel who are literally performing miracles everyday. Fulfill your own responsibility to be informed, stay with your loved one, watch over and assist in their care. Ask questions and give the medical staff respect so that you can be an effective assistant and not a hindrance to the loved ones recovery

    There is no doubt that the results of the tonsillectomy Jahi obtained was tragic. My heart and prayers go out to the family and for the pain they are suffering. I cannot even imagine being in their place. However, I am absolutely positive that the hearts of those involved in her care are equally torn and in pain because of those results and pray for them as well.

  9. Wendy Hughes 01/10/2014 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you for posting this article. I also experienced a child who almost died when he was 6. Doctors and nurses were so skilled, kind and caring that they saved his life and made the experience less terrifying for us both. God works through people and they were angels on earth. Lets all repost this everywhere and try to undo the damage this lawyer is inflicting. I pray that the family can work through their grief and begin to see that their daughter not going to get better and that it is time to let her go. This is not the time for vengeance and money … it is a time for acceptance of the reality.

  10. Mrs. Arnold 01/10/2014 at 8:44 am

    This is a tragedy on multiple levels. Through analysis of the medical record, I hope everyone will learn. Then Jahis tragedy will not be in vain. I surely hope the comment stating the family snuck her a cheeseburger is not true. Prayers for everyone involved.

  11. Phyllis Rosenberg 01/10/2014 at 7:47 am

    I agree with the mom above. It’s terribly sad when something bad happens to anyone let alone a child, but that is always a risk. Unfortunately, the human body is complex and as much as we’d like to control things……..Doctors and nurses are under the gun constantly. It’s a miracle anyone goes into medicine. Thank you to all of you who come in everyday with the intention of doing your best and being under the stress of trying to make things better and coming back for more even when things don’ t go as planned. The willingness to put yourselves on the line everyday is something to be admired. Keep coming back because 99.9% of people believe in what you do. The tradgedies will always be there, but we hope you will be too.

  12. Stacy 01/09/2014 at 11:18 pm

    Thank God… finally someone is making sense while talking about this tragedy. My heart goes out to the family of Jahi McMath also. I cannot imagine losing one of my children so unexpectedly and my heart aches for their loss. However, Children’s Hospital of Oakland does WONDERFUL work for its patients. Both of my children had the opportunity to be treated at Children’s, and I have to say that I was extremely impressed with the kind, considerate, compassionate doctors and nurses that treated them while they were there. Jahi’s family is in denial regarding her condition and in denial regarding their own actions that contributed to her condition. First of all, that beautiful girl was morbidly obese and morbidly obese people, both children and adults, are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea (as well as other health issues) as a result of their obesity. Jahi could have been placed on a weight loss and exercise program to lose those extra pounds and the weight loss alone may have gotten rid of the sleep apnea. Then there is the issue of the family sneaking a cheeseburger in to her immediately after surgery. It was this meal that tore her surgical sutures open and started the heavy bleeding that led to her death. What normal adult in their right mind would give a child a cheeseburger after throat surgery? Are you serious? And then have the audacity to hire an attorney and begin a smear campaign against Children’s Hospital while not allowing them to speak publicly about the case or in their own defense? I understand the loss of your child is devestating and my thoughts and prayers have been with this family since Day One. However, isn’t it time to let your beautiful girl go in peace, surrounded by those that love her? Isn’t it time to take responsibility for your own actions and find forgiveness in your heart? Isn’t it time to REALLY do God’s will and send him another angel?

  13. C. Bartley 01/09/2014 at 9:28 pm

    OCH was there for our family during a very hard time of our lives. My son was life flighted to OCH after a car accident with life threatening injuries. During our stay in the PICU the staff was amazing. They made us as comfortable as possible at his bedside and the doctors and nurses kept us updated on his condition. When he moved out if the PICU and to the rehab floor the nurses were great. Bringing him SF Giants items and taking great care of him and us. I live that hospital and stand by them. Hate to see a good institution get smeered like it is.

  14. Thank you for your touching story. CHO is a very good hospital.

  15. Debbie Nichols 01/09/2014 at 9:09 pm

    I have been a nurse almost 20 yrs now and I have worked both pediatrics and adults. I got my start as a nurse at Children’s in Oakland. It was a great experience. Overall, through my career, I have to say.. I have seen people come in and hang on and on and on.. and like wise I have seen some come in for something simple, and die before my eyes.
    At some point you have to realize life is in God’s hands, and he alone knows when he will call you home. There is no rhyme or reason. No understanding it. It is painful to loose a loved one, no matter how young or how old. Realize life is precious and we all will take that path… when God calls.
    my sincere sympathy to Jahi’s family and those who love her.

  16. Mitch Ray 01/09/2014 at 4:38 pm

    I literally owe my life to this hospital. From what my mother tells me I died a few times as a baby and they’ve saved me each time. I am now serving proudly in the Military and doing so much with this life they gave me. I couldn’t be more thankful.

  17. Joyce Wallace 01/09/2014 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you so much for your comments. I don’t know much about Children’s hospital, but I know they do great work. Multiple children and families are helped every day. And than you for the comments about the care of the family. That is so important. It is sad about Jahi, but it is sadder that Children’s Hosp cannot discuss the situation and that they will be forced to spend unimaginable money to defend themselves and their care. And this lawyer and the family will get some sort of settlement that could be better spent on care for other children,

  18. Kimmy 01/09/2014 at 12:02 pm

    Both have my children have been admitted to CHO at least 10 times during their youth. Asthma and surgeries. Children hospital was wonderful to me and most of all my Children. I would never hesitate in bringing my children there.

  19. Elizabeth 01/09/2014 at 11:20 am

    Just because they were so nice to you does not mean that they acted that way to Jahi’s family. From the very beginning, Jahi’s Mother said that the nurses brushed her off when she asked them for help while Jahi was in recovery and bleeding heavily. Their inattention to her, whether intentional or inadvertent, is what started this whole nightmare in motion.

    If the Doctors and nurses had shown more concern and attention to the mother, the situation would have played out very differently. The family perceived that their concerns went unheard and they felt that the nurses and doctors did not care about their daughter so naturally, they were distrustful of anything they were told. They feel like the hospital staff screwed up and then tried to shove them out of the way. Maybe there was no way to prevent what happened to Jahi, I don’t know the medical details. What was lacking in this case was the human compassion that the staff failed to show to the family.

    • Shannon 01/09/2014 at 11:26 am

      I’m not so sure I’m buying the family’s story. The grandmother claimed she was a registered surgical nurse. She is not. She is an LVN. If she truly had the training that she claims she had, there’s no way that she just sat there and watched her granddaughter bleed out. She’d have hauled the other nurses in and/or she would have tried to do something herself. Something is really off about the family’s story.

      • Gretchen Samuel 01/12/2014 at 8:48 pm

        @Shannon, the grandmother did try and get nurses in there to get her help even though it wasn’t her responsibility to do so. So you discredit the whole family due to her account? That’s telling.

    • Sylvia 01/09/2014 at 6:35 pm

      YOU have no idea what actually happened there, because the hospital is bound by confidentiality, and the mother sure as heck wasn’t going to allow them to tell their side of the story. Jahi’s story is tragic, but sadly, tragedies play out every single day. Whenever a person goes under anesthesia, there are risks, and there is the chance of complications.

      • Gretchen Samuel 01/12/2014 at 8:51 pm

        @Sylvia, neither do you. What we know is what has been presented to the media. Can you blame them from not wanting to let the hospital speak about the case when they do it’s done without compassion for the person they made a victim.

    • Pat 01/09/2014 at 7:28 pm

      I agree. You DON’T know the details.

    • JH 01/10/2014 at 10:30 pm

      I have a hard time believing the mother’s account about the inattention from PICU staff. To simply not pay attention to your patients in the *PICU* is just not an option, much less a fresh post-op whose family is telling you is bleeding. Any bleeding from any patient in PICU is addressed immediately. PICU patients are the sickest of the sick. We are talking about *highly* trained professionals, who are extremely skilled in the area of assessment, with expert command of pediatric pathophysiology. These people don’t merely “brush” bleeding off.
      There are standards of care (for *everything*)that must follow protocols… example: vital signs be documented every 10 minutes and so on.
      You only have 1 or 2 patients, depending on how “sick” they are. If a patient is unstable, almost always, he/she will be a 1:1 (one to one, or a single nurse assignment). Of course there are exceptions.
      But to say you were ignored in a PICU, with a bleeding post-op patient… just doesn’t ring true.

    • Gretchen Samuel 01/12/2014 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you for this comment. It’s true, just because the hospital was nice to the author doesn’t mean it happens to all patients.

      Jahi McMath is one example where it didn’t happen.

  20. Krysta 01/09/2014 at 10:43 am

    Shannon, thank you for sharing your extremely emotional journey with little C. As you know, we’ve also spent time at Children’s Hospital Oakland. We have nothing but positive things to say about the staff and caretakers.

  21. Chris Ainslie 01/09/2014 at 10:34 am

    People want the human body to be a machine where nut A fits on Bolt B and then everything works. No so. There are SO many variations within the human body, so many possible explanations for the symptoms that differ for each of us. When things go wrong we want to blame, we want definitive answers, we certainly don’t want to hear “We don’t know”. No one knows it all, no one. There will be tragedies at all medical facilities, all schools, all churches, etc. but please remember that the vast majority of people at all of these places are really doing their best and sometimes “We just don’t know” and it is hard but we do have to accept the terrible things that happen, along with all of the wonderful things.

  22. Amanda 01/09/2014 at 10:04 am

    I’m glad you had a positive time of care at the hospital. I also know many people who have had their children treated there and come out with wonderful stories. However, then there are people like our family. When our son’s eye turned in suddenly we went through the process of ruling out a brain tumor. In that process we were treated by a doctor there who nearly killed my son by treating him for an auto immune condition with powerful medications without doing the proper testing first. He was secretive and pushy and did not have my sons best interest in mind. He is now being investigated by the California Medical Board. Just because good things happen at this facility does not mean there is not careless and bad things that happen as well. Evil is present everywhere, especially where vulnerable children and frightened parents are.

  23. claudia 01/09/2014 at 9:19 am

    Great post. But if the hospital is so great how could this have happened? And what is the reason that the experiences are so distant from one another? It is really a tragic story and sadly it may have been prevented.

    • Shannon 01/09/2014 at 10:02 am

      While hemorrhage from a tonsillectomy is rare, it is still a very real risk. It does not mean that anyone is to blame.

      • karen 01/09/2014 at 6:08 pm

        Her cardiac arrest was not from “bleeding out” from her tonsils. She had bleeding from the surgical site but she did not just have a tonsillectomy. She had a tonsillectomy, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, and nasal turbinate surgery. She arrested because she aspirated blood and had a respiratory arrest. Bad things sometimes happen at even the best of hospitals… ones ranked #1 in US News and World Report and ones named #201. Bleeding postoperatively from this procedure is a known risk, and aspiration of blood can lead to respiratory compromise and this can lead to respiratory arrest followed by cardiac arrest if doctors are unable to stabilize the airway. My guess is that there is far more to the story of the events that led to her arrest. Placing an airway in an obese person with blood in their airway and swelling can be extremely difficult… as can placing adequate IV access in an emergency in an obese child…

      • Eleanor 01/10/2014 at 7:25 pm

        You are absolutely right about the risk. It disturbed me years ago when some places decided to do tonsillectomies as out patient surgery. (Thanks to the greed of insurance companies.) Of 5 of my children, one had a hemorrhage. No ones fault except a failure of my child’s body. We were there and were able to instantly inform the staff with good results.

    • jeff 01/09/2014 at 10:17 am

      Because all surgery in every hospital comes with a risk. Maybe extremely rare for this type of surgery, but sadly and tragically, the risk exists. Could someone have messed up? Yes. And that is part of the risk, because no human being is perfect. But also, sometimes unpredictable and unpreventable stuff happens.

    • Jessica 01/09/2014 at 10:33 am

      Unfortunately, post-op bleeding in a tonsillectomy is a potential complication that happens more than you think. Even the most routine operations can result in devastation. As a pediatric ICU nurse, myself, I have seen post-op tonsil bleeds result in cardiac arrest leading to brain death, twice! The point of this post is not to shame the doctors who cared for this child or criticize the decisions they have to make because laws exist. Her point is that the doctors, nurses, and other staff at this hospital are compassionate, caring people and now, this wonderful hospital is getting a bad rap, that it doesn’t deserve because of a media onslaught. I could not imagine being one of this child’s nurses. Being a nurse to a situation like this is emotionally exhausting and requires tremendous spiritual strength.

      • Jim Bond 01/12/2014 at 2:58 am

        Imagine how exhausting it is for the parents of the brain dead child?

  24. JenS 01/09/2014 at 8:23 am

    Thank you for saying what needed to be side. My daughter was rushed by ambulance to Children’s Hospital in May to have a mass removed from her abdomen. That mass turned out to be in her ovary, and it turned out to be cancer. My daughter is alive and healthy today because of the doctors, nurses and staff at Children’s Hospital. I don’t for a second discard how tragic Jahi’s story is, and as a mom, I can’t put myself in her mom’s shoes, but I KNOW this hospital did everything they could and I KNOW that family was given support and treated with nothing but respect and compassion.

  25. Amy 01/09/2014 at 8:18 am

    Sweet, Shannon,

    Thanks for sharing. I read this when you posted and can’t tell you how I love to read the comments and the impact you’ve made by sharing. I could say the same thing about our local children’s hospital. My children have benefited by having such caring and loving medical help 10 minutes from our home. Give little C man a hug! xoxo, Amy

  26. Erica Fehrman 01/09/2014 at 8:18 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your family’s story and for being a positive voice for the caregivers at Children’s!

  27. Chris H 01/09/2014 at 8:01 am

    That needed to be said – and you said it very well. I am sure the Oakland Children’s community appreciates your words.

  28. Bryan H 01/09/2014 at 5:38 am

    Great story. One of those nurses is my wife. This brought tears to my eyes. She loves the people she helps and I am proud to hear this story. Thank you for writing. Nurses save lives.

  29. Stacy gray 01/09/2014 at 12:51 am

    Thank you for this article. Oakland Children saved my daughter’s life.

  30. Danielle 01/09/2014 at 12:32 am

    I have had two of my children treated at Children’s Hospitals as infants. On more than one occasion, I have said how THANKFUL I am to have such a remarkable facility so close to our home. My son spent the first 14 days of his life at this hospital. The nurses were so incredible and were such a source of information, sympathy, and constant support. The doctors were first rate! Thank you CHO for everything that you do for all of the children in our community. We know not every outcome is the one that we all would like to see, but I know in my hearts that everyone at CHO gives every patient their heart and soul. My heart grieves for this family and hope they find peace.

  31. susan klee 01/09/2014 at 12:18 am

    There is no doubt that our wonderful media have been promulgating slanted stories, e.g. the Chronicle’s mention of a “botched tonsillectomy.” Some of us writing here could perhaps write to various newspapers to try to balance that mind-set.

  32. anon 01/08/2014 at 11:11 pm

    Thank you for this blog and sharing your experience.

    I want to also thank the staff of CHO for leaving many others with the same feelings that you have in this post.

  33. Sara 01/08/2014 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments and heartfelt story. Although Jahi’s story is a sad one, it was by no means a “routine tonsillectomy”. Leave it to the media to omit many of the details, all for the sake of airing a good story. I truly hope Jahi will heal and come back to her family. And if she does not, I pray that her family is able to heal from the loss of their dear child.
    I hope your own child is healthy and well.
    I am currently having my own pre-teen treated by physicians at Rady Children’s Hospital and Scripps Clinic in San Diego. I trust the experienced nurses and physicians with my child and am comforted in knowing that they will know what is best for my child.

  34. Samantha Gardner, RRT 01/08/2014 at 10:55 pm

    As a respiratory therapist of 17 years , you see a lot of things, children have very special places in the hearts of their care providers, pediatric staff are some of the most passionate medical professionals I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of and to work with. While I feel truly sad for the family’s loss of their daughter and will pray for peace for them. It pleases me to hear the positivity being shared here. What happened to Jahai is an unfortunate incident that just happened to unfold at Children’s Hospital of Oakland. Kudos to the staff for being supportive, compassionate, loving and professional even with all of the negative press. That speaks a lot to the integrity and respect that staff exemplified during this difficult time. Thank you CHO workers!

  35. Deborah Hurtt 01/08/2014 at 10:36 pm

    I have spent many a day and night at Children’s Oakland and love that hospital. I would recommend it to any family with a sick child. It’s a loving and extremely professional hospital. God bless them all. I am sad for Jahi and her family, as I know them personally. May God bless them to, and if He Wills, may Jahi be healed.

  36. Lindsay Carroll 01/08/2014 at 10:22 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this! I too have a child in the care of CHO. We have also been in the PICU with out daughter before and know first hand while kind of people are working there and what kind of care they provide. My daughter will undergo a bone marrow transplant very soon there and I couldn’t be more grateful for the care I know she is going to receive and for the comfort and support I know that we are going to receive. I do want to tell you that we were just there for a 3 day stay this past weekend. I spoke to a lot of nurses about the bad publicity and most of them just smiled and said that they have received an outpouring of support and encouragement from families that have taken their own children there. There is nothing but regret and sorrow for Jahi and her family. Not a single nurse said anything negative. I have even been in contact with our favorite PICU nurse and she did her best to protect the said family from any false info. Childrens hospital of Oakland has my 150% support.

  37. Alix 01/08/2014 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful post. Of course what Jahi and her family went through (and are still suffering through) is unimaginable. We can’t even begin to understand what everyone involved with this tragedy is going through. But I agree, I think Children’s Hospital is a very special place and I hope isn’t vilified in the process. My little then-2-year-old had to have surgery there (he’s now a thriving 9 year old) and the wonderful care and kindness of the staff helped us through what was a difficult and trying experience. My heart and prayers go out to everyone involved in this heart-breaking story. Thank you again for your perspective!

  38. Suzy, RN 01/08/2014 at 9:11 pm

    Thank you for such a positive post. I have had the opportunity to work at this hospital before I moved and it is an outstanding facility with state of the art medical care and staff who are amazing. My heart goes out to the little girl and her family, this is something no parent should ever have to endure. But negative slamming does not promote healing, I hope the mother is able to find some peace and closure so her daughter may also. Prayers for all involved, family and hospital staff.

  39. Kathi Olson 01/08/2014 at 8:53 pm

    God love ya for taking the time to write your thoughtful post. I hope your son is thriving and thank you so much for your kind words acknowledging the ‘house of angels’ that we all know Children’s Hospital in Oakland to be.

  40. 925Momof2 01/08/2014 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you so much for your post and perspective; I think the point that you made is that one side is vilifying, while the other cannot speak its side because of privacy laws, is significant and compelling. No one will really know the whole story and really its not important; what is important is that there has been the loss of a little girl’s life which has forever wounded a family and those folks who have devoted their lives to helping and saving children. I hope and pray that everyone is able to heal, continue to love and continue to support the other children and families who walk through the doors in need of medical assistance.

  41. Karen Scruggs 01/08/2014 at 7:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience with Children’s Hospital. There are many of us who hear the news but still know there are “two sides” to every story. We would have complete faith in Children’s if it was needed for our grandson! A big hug from grandparents of a 2.5 year old!

  42. Pat 01/08/2014 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

  43. 925Mama 01/08/2014 at 5:10 pm

    Great. Of course they do good work. THey saved my brother’s life, but why would you discount the family’s feelings by just slamming this “chatty” lawyer. Children’s very likely made mistakes in this case. They may be great, but mistakes happen. SO admit that, good things happen, but mistakes do happen. People and especially Jahi’s family, have every right to feel as they do. CHatty attorney or not, we’ll see how you feel if god forbid it happens to you someday. Have some compassion for this family. Good things happen, but that doesn’t dismiss the very real possibility mistakes were made that lead to the death of a young girl. It doesn’t dismiss that Children’s set up a horrid cycle of mistrust. None of us were there, and NONE Of us other than the horrific few, can know how this family feels.

    • alex 01/08/2014 at 7:54 pm

      Calm down. She only briefly talked about the Jahi McMath case. The focus of this was HER story and experience with Children’s. I don’t think briefly mentioning the lawyer twice should be considered “slamming.” She has just as much right to talk about her experience with this hospital as the McMath family.

      “We’ll see how you feel if god forbid it happens to you someday” — Jesus lady get a grip.

      • Gretchen Samuel 01/12/2014 at 8:57 pm

        @Alex, Why police someone’s emotions? No one has to “calm down” a child is brain dead after having surgery and the hospital didn’t even want to let the family spend Christmas with the child because they wanted to remove her so fast from life support. That’s not compassionate, but callous.

    • Olivia Donnell 01/11/2014 at 8:14 pm

      925Mama I am in total agreement with you. Alex, I guess it depends on what you mean by “brief” since the first three opening paragraphs talk about Jahi. You also don’t know 925Mama’s story so don’t be preachy. Just as the author has the right to tell her story, other folks have a right to comment or tell their’s. The fact of the matter is hospitals do not administer medical care, people do and they make mistakes. You may have terrific professionals in a facility with virtual idiots and so-called professionals with horrible bedside story. Personally, I would have appreciated this story much more if it had just been told without diminishing the feelings of a family who thought their child would be home in a few days. The comparison nor the judgement was needed to show support for a hospital that apparently got it right in the case of this particular family.

  44. Marianne Murray 01/08/2014 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

  45. Amy 01/08/2014 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for writing this, Shan.