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The family of Jahi McMath has stopped the clock in their race to keep officials from unhooking the 13-year-old from life support by winning a last-minute injunction to keep her alive until January 7.
The world held its breath as the fate of the Oakland, California girl was due to be decided at 5pm Pacific time Monday after a judge ruled last week that life support must be removed.
Jahi's desperate family has announced they've found a New York facility they say will accept the brain dead girl and as the deadline came they announced their plans to stop hospital officials from pulling the plug.
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Brief relief: Nailah Winkfield has an emotional moment Monday after learning her daughter Jahi McMath will be kept on life support until January 7
Wrenching moment: Nailah Winkfield (right) has a moment of relief after Monday evening's news that her daughter Jahi McMath (right) may remain on life support until January 7 after a judge granted a temporary halt to plans to remove the 13-year-old from life support
Family announcement: Jahi's uncle Omari Sealey (pictured) spoke to reporters Monday evening just before a 5pm Pacific deadline when his brain dead niece's ventilator was due to be switched off
'This is the pretty young girl that I gave life too,' said Jahi's mother Nailah Winkfield as she wiped tears from her eyes following the announcement. 'My child is not dead yet.'
Family spokesman Omari Sealey, the uncle of Jahi McMath, disclosed the plan to seek a restraining order against the hospital where the girl is on a breathing machine.
'We are hopeful one of these (court) actions will forestall the hospital's effort to extinguish Jahi's life,' Sealey said.
Hospital spokesman Sam Singer confirmed that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo had extended his injunction until 5pm on January 7.
He said that his heart went out to the family but that the hospital had still to get any assurances that Jahi could be moved to another facility.
A facility in New York state is willing to take Jahi, and arrangements have been made for medical transport with a doctor by her side, the uncle said.
Winkfield and her family are now in a renewed race against time to get their little girl transferred to a facility willing to care for a legally dead patient
'I am just thanking God and everyone who has supported us. I am going to fight with everything I have got,' Winkfield said Monday
'We have a doctor in CA who will be by her side, door- to-door throughout transfer to NYC,' a representative from Jahi's family said at a press conference outside Children's Hospital of Oakland.
'We have also contracted an air ambulance that has agreed to take her from door to door. We have a doctor who will be by her side throughout this transfer,' he said. 'We need to get her to a hospital that wants to treat her. We are not just crazy people hoping for a miracle. We have doctors who agree with our stand.'
Sealey, a 27-yaer-old scientific recruiter said they're hoping the hospital will budge on its hard line stance against helping Jahi be transferred. 'I think that we are very, very close if the hospital will co-operate.'
The news comes despite doctors and previous judges agreeing that there is no way to bring the legally dead teen back.
Struggle: Jahi's family is pitted against a hospital they've called uncaring in their struggle to keep the brain dead teen hooked to life support. Here, Children's Hospital of Oakland spokesman Sam Singer updates reporters on Jahi's condition December 30. Doctors contend she has no possibility of ever waking up
'Jahi is moving when her mother speaks and when her mother touches her. We have videoed this and produced it to the hospital’s attorney,' Sealey said. 'We have a pediatrician that has seen Jahi and sworn that she is not dead. The family has located a licensed facility in the state of New York that has agreed to take Jahi.'
Winkfield hugged Sealey and cried 'thank God' outside the hospital after hearing the court had extended the injunction
Sealey said the family took video of Jahi responding when her mother touched and talked to her. He also said a pediatrician examined her and said she was not dead.
But hospital spokesman Sam Singer said the girl's movements are involuntary muscle movements that in no way signal someone is alive, according to the Bay Area's ABC7 reporter Laura Anthony.
Regardless of the chances, Jahi's mother held out hope and tried to relish the moments following Monday's temporary victory and called the hospital's treatment of the issue 'disgusting.'
'By the Grace of God she is still living and moving,' she said.
World is watching: Here, Omari Sealey greets well-wishers Frank Somerville and his 9-year-old daughter Callie at Monday's emotional press event
Precautions: Officials saw to it that the door to the Children's Hospital of Oakland was barricaded Monday in preparation for Jahi's family's press conference
'Today was the most stressful day of my life,' she said with tears in her eyes. 'No mother wants to be told the date and the time when their child is going to die.'
Christopher Dolan, the family's attorney, first took to Twitter to announce the family had won the temporary injunction:
'We have extension of TRO until January 7:00 thank you Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'
Dolan said previously that the family could ask Grillo for more time or file a federal appeal.
Dolan said Monday: 'This child was sitting on death row until today.
'They (the hospital) were hell bent on ending this child’s life today and the court stopped them. A piece of paper has saved her from extinction.
'On that basis this is a victory. But the family should not have to fight.'
Jahi’s grandmother Sandra Chatman, a nurse, said: 'I believe that Jahi can recover.
We need to look at all options to make sure that she can recover.'
Mother Nailah added: 'We are just happy that the court agreed with us. I think that my daughter is alive.'
Jahi underwent a tonsillectomy at the hospital on December 9 to treat sleep apnea and other issues.
After she awoke from the operation, her family said, she started bleeding heavily and went into cardiac arrest. She was declared brain dead three days later.
The family said on its fundraising website that it had raised more than $25,000 for a possible transfer.
Last minute: Jahi's mother Nailak Winkfield cries during a court hearing December 23 to decide her brain dead daughter's fate. The won a last minute restraining order Monday that will keep Jahi on life support until January 7
Tragedy: Jahi McMath, 13, was declared legally brain-dead after undergoing a routine tonsil removal that dosctors suggested as a means of eliminating her sleep apnea
Last photos: Mrs Winkfield snapped this picture of daughter Jahi the morning she took her to the hospital to undergo a tonsillectomy that ended up all but ending her life
Unexpected: After coming out of surgery, Jahi started bleeding from the mouth and was eventually ruled brain-dead. The hospital that performed the procedure no longer wants to keep the girl on life support
Still hope? Last week, Jahi's family released this picture of Nailah Wakefield holding her daughter's hand. The family has until January 7 to get the girl transferred to a facility that will take her or face pulling her plug
Doctors at Children's Hospital and an independent pediatric neurologist from Stanford University have concluded the girl is brain dead. Family members, however, said they believe she is still alive.
On Monday, Sam Singer, a hospital spokesman, reiterated the position of the doctors.
'This is one of the most tragic situations imaginable,' Singer said. 'A family has long their young daughter. But unfortunately, Jahi is deceased. No amount of hope, prayer or medical procedures will bring her back.
Singer said patient privacy laws require that any updates about the girl's status must come from the family.
Painful decisions: Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ruled on Christmas Eve to deny the McMath family's petition to keep Jahi hooked to a ventilator
'It is in their hands now,' Singer said.
Cynthia Chiarappa, a hospital spokeswoman, has said officials would have to understand the capabilities of the New York facility before allowing a possible transfer.
The hospital also said it would need to confirm there is lawful transportation included in any transfer plan and there is written permission from the coroner.
Doctors at Children's Hospital have refused to perform a tracheotomy for breathing and to insert a feeding tube - procedures that would be necessary to transfer Jahi. The hospital has said it's unethical to perform surgery on a person legally declared dead.
Upsetting: Makhai McMath, 8, blows a bubble with her gum as she marches in support of her 13-year-old sister
Dede Logan, of Oakland, adds red stars to a poster in support of Jahi McMath in front of Children's Hospital Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013