'Don't kill Bobby': Hospital performing critical test as family scrambles to maintain life support

Mother continues fight after 14-year-old Bobby Reyes declared brain-dead

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A new twist in the "don't kill Bobby" life support battle has made the 14-year-old's fate even more uncertain as the hospital performs a critical brain test and his family scrambles to keep doctors from pulling the plug.

Sarah Jones reports a second test to confirm the absence of brain activity in her son, Bobby Reyes, is being performed Tuesday afternoon.

READHealth officials say continuing life support inappropriate if boy is brain-dead

The test is what the family has been fighting all along. Their attorney is on his way to Detroit to try to file a restraining order to keep hospital officials from doing the test or removing life support.

But the test is already underway. This came after a Washtenaw County court judge dismissed the case.

Both sides met in court Tuesday to determine whether Bobby is receiving artificial life or true life support.

Jones has been fighting to keep Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor from taking her son off of life support.

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

Michigan Medicine officials filed a 40-page response Monday, saying it's inappropriate to keep Bobby on life support after he was declared brain-dead Sept. 25.

When the parties met in court Tuesday, the case was dismissed on a technicality.

There are three tracks moving forward, according to the family.

First, a technicality must be addressed: The attorney made a mistake by filing the restraining order in the wrong court. Washtenaw Circuit Court is the place of the original filing, but since the University of Michigan Hospital System is considered a government agency, the proper court would have been the Court of Claims.

"We're going to file something quickly, get it filed within the hour and hope that the Court of Claims will give us a chance," the attorney said.

The second track is that Mott Children's Hospital now has the ability to remove advanced life support any time after a second confirmation test is performed and proves the first diagnosis of legal death.

So far, Bobby's family hasn't allowed the second test to take place.

"This is where they try to call his time of death, and we're not agreeing to it because we know he's not brain-dead," Jones said.

The third track involves what the family says are three outside medical professionals. They said one of the professionals examined Bobby on Monday night and said, "He had a chance at life."

Family members and the attorney said Bobby faces an uphill battle, but they will continue to fight.

A group of supporters who have met the family are outside Mott Children's Hospital with signs. Many of them met the family on Facebook. They are holding up signs asking hospital officials to stop the second test.

As the family attorney heads to Detroit to file the injunction, hospital officials are already performing the second brain activity test. Officials said it will take the family at least 48 hours to get any relief from the Court of Claims.

Local 4 asked for a statement from the hospital.

More background information

After Bobby was initially 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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