UK Mother Fighting for Infant Son With Brain Damage Says it Is for God, Not Man, to Decide When He Dies

Photo Credit: The Sun

LONDON — The mother of an 11-month-old infant in the UK who suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen at birth is fighting for the right to keep his life support connected, and says that her son should not be considered a hopeless case.

“Don’t just give up on him and say it’s a hopeless case, because many children have been born in Isaiah’s similar case and their parents didn’t give up on them either,” Takesha Thomas, 36, told Sky News. “And with love, that’s one thing I know: give a child love and they will thrive. It doesn’t matter what condition they are, just give them love.  And that’s what everyone needs.”

Thomas’ son, Isaiah, is at the center of a case before the High Court in London, as doctors at King’s College Hospital believe that it is “futile, burdensome and not in [Isaiah’s] best interests” to continue treatment. According to the Times & Star, the court was told that Isaiah has a low level of consciousness, does not respond to stimulation and cannot breathe on his own.

“[He has] no smile, no perceived movement, no way that anyone can tell whether he is expressing any emotional connection,” one specialist testified to Justice Alistair MacDonald. “There is definitely an emotional connection from mother to baby, but whether there is an emotional connection from Isaiah to mother, I don’t know how you would ever be able to establish that.”

But Thomas, while acknowledging that her son is significantly disabled, says that the child is responsive to her touch and voice.

“When I take him out for cuddles, when I sing to him, when I rock, he feels sleepy in my arms,” she told the court. “When I speak to him, he will respond slowly by opening one eye.”

Thomas, who identifies as a Pentecostal, further says that it is not up to man to say that a person’s life is so “poor” that it is not worth living.

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“For me, I don’t think it is right to say who should live or who should die,” she remarked. “If God wants to take the person, He will.”

The hearing is expected to conclude this week. Justice MacDonald has prohibited the identities of the medical personnel involved with the case from being identified.

Thomas would like to eventually take her son home as she is willing to provide 24-hour care.

“I don’t know how they come to that conclusion (that the child’s level of quality of life was not worth continuing treatment),” she stated. “I see a child that is injured. He needs love. He needs care, and I have it and can give it.”

The case is similar to the last year’s court battle surrounding 10-month-old Charlie Gard, whose parents wanted to transport him to the U.S. for experimental treatment. Gard, who suffered from mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, died in late July after his parents gave up the fight in seeing that their son’s condition had deteriorated, since too much time had passed in dealing with the hospital and the courts.

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  • God bless you Takesha. Lord we ask for you healing hand upon Isaiah.

    • Robin Egg

      Amen. Dear, precious baby.

  • Croquet_Player

    It is a tragic, in the extreme, situation that we can keep people, very young, or very old, or somewhere in between, “alive” with mechanical means. These are very important ethical questions which must be discussed, so everyone knows exactly what is going on. It’s extremely complicated. I for one, have signed a DNR, which means “Do Not Resuscitate”. If I have experienced brain death, I will not be coming back from that, no matter how much my beloved friends and family want my body to carry on. I also do not have a death wish, and if doctors can revive me into some semblance of my normal self, well, carry on! I think we must make it clear in our DNRs, that for me, only being able to move my eyeballs for the rest of my life is not how I would wish to carry on. That may differ for other people, and I respect their wishes. We must be clear to our family and friends, (or our lawyers) how we would like to be respected if we cannot speak for ourselves.

    • cadcoke5

      The problem with “brain death” is that there are plenty of these patients who get confirmed as brain dead by several doctors, and then later wake up. Some even 100% recovery. One wonders how many died simply because food and water were withheld.

      Most of the medical groups are OK with aborting kids who have positive pre-natal tests for things like downs syndrome. This indicates that doctors are not the place to go for advice on deliberately ending the life of a patient. who may have a brain injury and who is not expected to recover.

      • Croquet_Player

        I believe you are confusing “brain death” with “vegetative state”. Once brain death has occurred, there is (at this point) no coming back from it. It is permanent, with zero chance of recovery. In a vegetative state, (essentially a deep coma) there is still some, however minimal, brain activity. People can recover from a vegetative state, but is is exceedingly rare. And the prognosis for a full recovery is even rarer still. Generally there is profound impairment. Like anyone else, doctors can only rely on probability, based on accumulated data, to predict outcomes. Which is why we all should make our wishes known, and well documented, in advance of any unforeseen tragic events.