A Texan family is suing a children’s hospital to keep their baby alive on life support after he was declared brain dead by doctors.
Nick Torres, who was only 10 months, was taken to a Texas hospital on September 24 after he was found unconscious and unresponsive in a bathtub. He was transferred from the hospital’s intensive care unit and taken to Texas Children’s Hospital.
According to court documents, within the week, doctors declared Nick brain dead.
But Mario and Ana Patricia Torres, Nick’s parents, believe that because their son’s heart is still beating on its own, he has a chance to live.
The couple has sued the hospital to keep Nick on life support, alleging in a complaint that the hospital had been “rushing to make a decision.”
Dr. Matthew Musick, the Texas Children’s Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit’s senior medical director, stated in court documents that Nick’s “current condition and physiological changes have nothing to do with the presence of oxygen provided by the ventilator. In addition, these changes cannot be stopped or slowed by the ventilator or any other service.”
The Torres’ decided to seek an injunction against Texas Children’s and over $1 million, despite a judge denying it. Both Mario and Ana Patricia were given more time to file an accelerated appeal, and all sides were given until 5 p.m. Wednesday to present evidence to the court, according to the outlet.
Court documents reveal how the hospital maintains that it is “indisputable medical fact” that Nick showed “signs of postmortem deterioration,” and that he had “developed progressive signs of organ failure, including cardiac failure.”
The hospital said that multiple evaluations, including one from the Texas Medical Center, which showed “complete cessation of all spontaneous brain activity,” deeming Nick dead according to state law.
Texas Children’s Hospital informed PEOPLE’s in a statement, “Our hearts are with the entire Torres family as they go through this unimaginable situation. We know losing a child is incredibly difficult for any family. Texas Children’s seeks to provide the most compassionate and appropriate care possible to every patient we serve.”
Kevin Acevedo, the Torres’ attorney, told CNN that the case is “about life and death, what we believe and who gets to choose when a child is taken off life support.”
“Do the parents choose, or do the doctors choose? And when the doctors don’t agree with the parents, who gets to decide?” Acevedo said. “And those are the issues that are at the heart of this case.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.