'Don't kill Bobby' update: Child taken off life support after second test confirms brain death

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

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A 14-year-old boy was taken off life support Tuesday after his family fought to keep doctors from doing so at an Ann Arbor hospital.

UPDATE: Funeral arrangements for Bobby Reyes

The decision was made after health officials at Mott Children's Hospital ran a second test to confirm Bobby Reyes was brain-dead, according to authorities.

The second brain examination confirmed the results of a previous test, and Bobby was pronounced dead, officials said.

Bobby was taken off life support after his family gathered in the room.

Here is a full statement from Michigan Medicine:

"Our health care team at Michigan Medicine extends our deepest condolences to the family of Bobby Reyes in this heartbreaking situation.

"A second brain death examination was conducted late this morning, and Bobby was pronounced dead. Mechanical ventilation was discontinued after the family gathered in the patient's room. 

"The brain death examination 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.

"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.

"Continuing medical interventions was inappropriate after Bobby had 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, contacting more than 20 different facilities. Every facility contacted 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."

Previous: Tuesday morning update

Bobby's mother, Sarah Jones, confirmed Tuesday that a second test to confirm the absence of brain activity in her son, Bobby Reyes, was being performed.

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

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

But the test was already underway. It came after a Washtenaw County court judge dismissed the case.

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

Jones had 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.

Family members and the attorney said Bobby faced an uphill battle, but wanted to continue to fight.

A group of supporters who have met the family stood outside Mott Children's Hospital with signs. Many of them met the family on Facebook. The signs asked hospital officials to stop the second test.

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)
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.

Previous coverage

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