ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — It is a situation no parent should have to experience. Doctors are telling the parents of a 14-year-old boy he is brain dead and it is time to say goodbye.
“I just want my son. I just want my son,” said Sarah Jones, as she stood outside the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
Jones says she felt like the luckiest mom in the world as she watched her son Bobby Reyes grow up.
“Bobby talked about being a missionary," she said as she described the 14-year-old. "He likes helping people. Bobby loves cats, animals, babies. He is sweet.”
Doctors say it is time to say goodbye, but a family is not ready to give up the fight to save their 14-year-old son. This is a picture of Bobby. I will tell you about his mom's fight in court today on WXYZ at 4 and 6. pic.twitter.com/2YjO3Pyfio— Kim Russell WXYZ (@kimrussell7) September 30, 2019
Then, on Saturday, Sept. 21, they were hanging out at home.
“He was literally playing video games downstairs,” Jones said.
She says she wishes she had known that the third week of September is known as the most dangerous week of the year for anyone with asthma, because it is high ragweed pollen season. Her son told her he was having a hard time breathing. She told him to use his inhaler. He did but it did not help.
“It was so quick,” Jones said.
She called 911 and started driving to a firehouse near her home in Monroe County’s Ash Township for help. Bobby stopped breathing. He was airlifted to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
Doctors there told Bobby's family that the boy who had never had a seemingly serious asthma attack previously, only wheezing, was brain dead.
His mom says she does not believe it. She says she watches his stats change when she touches him. She believes he can sense her. She believes he needs more time and perhaps experimental treatments.
Jones went to court to ask a judge to force the hospital to give her more time to try to find another hospital that will take him.
What are your rights after a doctor says you are braindead? One family is fighting to preserve their 14-year-old son's right to life, hoping for a second opinion that will make all the difference. pic.twitter.com/cKAqem9JYk— Kim Russell WXYZ (@kimrussell7) September 30, 2019
An attorney who went to court with her says people don’t realize that they don’t necessarily have the right to a second opinion after they are declared brain dead.
“Basically when a doctor says you are dead, you have no more constitutional rights at that point," said William Amadeo. "What you are trying to do in a situation like this is say that doctor is incorrect or acted too hastily.”
The hospital released a statement saying in part, “All of us empathize with the extraordinarily emotional process that families facing such matters go through. Our team of highly experienced and specialized nurses, doctors and other health professionals exhaust every available option to help patients who are critically ill.”
In this case, the judge said the family could have more time to find another hospital, if there is another willing to try to save Bobby.
“He would want to live," Jones said. "He would want me to fight for him, so that is what I am going to do."
She has created a Facebook page where you can follow Bobby’s story at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2034103780068665/.