Legal Battle Ends With Brain-Dead Toddler Taken Off Life Support

Israel Stinson became brain dead after suffering an asthma attack was taken off life support on Aug. 26. (GoFundMe/saveisraelstinson)

A months-long legal battle to keep Israel Stinson alive came to an end on Aug. 25, after a judge ruled to take the brain-dead California toddler off life support.

The ruling comes just seven days after a court granted a temporary restraining order that would prevent the hospital’s medical personnel from shutting off Stinson’s ventilator while the family obtained a second opinion from a neurologist.

“It was a complete shock … a complete turnaround from last week,” family attorney Alexandra Snyder told the Sacramento Bee.

Stinson was declared clinically brain dead by three physicians at U.C. Davis and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Roseville after he suffered a brain injury following an asthma-related cardiac arrest in April.

Stinson’s mother, Jonee Fonseca, has always maintained that doctors misdiagnosed her son and went to great lengths to keep him alive through numerous court proceedings.

“These doctors [are] telling you there’s no hope, but then you go and see your son and he moves to your voice and it brings you back up.” Fonseca said.

In May, Fonseca and Israel’s father, Nate Stinson, left the United States with their son to seek additional treatment in Guatemala.

According to Fonseca, a pediatric neurologist there performed an electroencephalogram (EEG) test, which revealed brain activity in the toddler. Shortly afterward, they returned to the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, who agreed to take Israel as a patient.

Stinson passed away shortly after 3 p.m. with his mother beside him.

“He’s gone,” Fonseca tearfully told the Sacramento Bee.

“They are devastated. I think still in shock,” Snyder told CBS News California. “It’s not even my child; I am still in shock this could happen so quickly.

“That is something every family has to decide for themselves, not a choice that should be imposed upon somebody.”

The Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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