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'Don't kill Bobby': Health officials say continuing life support inappropriate if boy is brain-dead

Mother of Bobby Reyes continues fight to keep son on life support

Bobby Reyes with his mother, Sarah Jones. (WDIV)

Health officials released a statement Friday amid the "don't kill Bobby" movement, saying it's inappropriate to continue to provide life support for the 14-year-old boy if he has been declared brain-dead.

Here's the full statement from Michigan Medicine:

"Our health care team at Michigan Medicine empathizes with the family of Bobby Reyes, who are facing an extremely difficult and heartbreaking situation.

"Tragically, testing has showed that Bobby has no detectable brain activity. An initial brain death examination on Sept. 24 showed Bobby had no detectable brain or brain stem function. Further testing -- including an electrical encephalogram (EEG) and a cerebral blood flow study -- detected no electrical activity and no blood flow to Bobby's brain.

"Michigan Medicine needs to proceed with a second examination to confirm there is irreversible cessation of all functions, including the brain stem. Michigan Medicine has not proceeded with the second examination because the family sought relief in court, and a hearing is planned for Tuesday.

"By law in Michigan, an individual is dead who has sustained either irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions or irreversible cessation of all function of the entire brain, including the brain stem.

"The present situation of continuing medical interventions is inappropriate if Bobby has suffered brain death and violates the professional integrity of Michigan Medicine's clinicians.

"His caregivers at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital have diligently worked with the family to help arrange to transfer Bobby to another facility, but every facility contacted has declined to take on Bobby's care.

"Our team at Michigan Medicine sympathizes with the Reyes family and is committed to providing support in this difficult time."

The story of Bobby Reyes has sparked the "don't kill Bobby" movement as his mother, Sarah Jones, fights to keep Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor from taking him off of life support.

Bobby, 14, of Ash Township, was hospitalized in September after a severe asthma attack.

After Bobby was declared brain-dead, the hospital agreed to give the family another week to find a facility to which he could be transferred.

Bobby Reyes. (WDIV)

"They're quitting on my son," Jones said. "They've already quit. I love him so much and I can't lose my baby. He's so sweet. Bobby doesn't deserve this. He deserves a chance to live."

Allegiant Healthcare of Phoenix originally agreed to take Bobby in, but called after reviewing his case and decided not to accept him.

Jones previously won a court case to keep doctors from pulling the plug on her son. A "don't kill Bobby" rally was held outside 15th District Court.

A vigil for Bobby was held Thursday.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family pay for medical bills and transportation costs. You can donate here.

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About the Author:

Derick Hutchinson

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in communications and a focus in journalism. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.