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Family plans another court battle to keep 14-year-old Bobby Reyes on life support

Health officials say boy is brain dead

Health officials say continuing life support 'inappropriate' if Bobby Reyes is brain-dead

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The family of a 14-year-old Ash Township boy who has been deemed brain-dead by health officials is meeting with attorneys to plan another court battle to keep the child on life support.

Mott's Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor filed paperwork essentially asking the courts to stop the stays and allow them to do a second round of tests to confirm that Bobby Reyes is brain-dead and then be allowed to disconnect him from advanced life support.

Bobby 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.

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

"They're quitting on my son," mother Sarah 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."

Health officials with Michigan Medicine released a statement, saying it's inappropriate to continue to keep the boy on life support.

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."

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

Previous coverage

A doctor in Phoenix has stepped in to take over treatment of a Downriver 14-year-old boy on life support.
Hospital to delay taking Michigan boy off life support
Mother fighting to keep son on life support after facility rejects transfer
A rally is set to take place outside the 15th District Court at 8 a.m. Monday in Ann Arbor. It centers around a 14-year-old boy named Bobby Reyes. He is on life support at the University of Michigan Hospital. Doctors say Reyes is brain dead after suffering an asthma attack and cardiac arrest. His family was told he would be removed from life support pending a second test. The family is seeking a legal injunction to stop the hospital.

About the Authors:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.