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'My son gets a chance to live': Family finds hope as they work to save Monroe County boy declared brain dead

Posted at 5:38 PM, Oct 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 06:49:45-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Doctors at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital told one family it is time to say goodbye, that an asthma attack had left 14-year-old Bobby Reyes brain dead. Bobby’s parents refused to believe them.

It resulted in a court battle. They went to court to ask a judge to order the hospital to give them more time to seek another place to care for him. A judge granted their request.

They reached out to hospital after hospital. Many turned down their request. They feared they would reach the deadline of this Friday for finding somewhere that believed Bobby had a chance.

Then on Wednesday they got word. A doctor at Allegiant Health Care of Phoenix, who reviewed 1800 pages of his medical report, decided he will take Bobby as a patient.

“My son gets a chance to live,” said Sarah Jones.

“To me it is a miracle,” said Jose Reyes, Bobby’s dad. “Don’t stop fighting for your children.”

What happened to Bobby, leaving him fighting for his life, seemed to come out of nowhere. He had an inhaler for wheezing connected to asthma, but had never suffered a serious asthma attack. He was playing video games at his home when he told her he was struggling.

Sarah 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. She told him to use his inhaler. He did. It did not help.

“It was so quick,” she 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, where doctors declared him brain dead.

His family says if it weren’t for attorney William Amadeo donating his legal services, so they could fight for time to get an opinion otherwise, Bobby would face death.

Amadeo says the University of Michigan has agreed to work with the family and the hospital in Arizona as they try to save Bobby.

“Here was an opportunity to play a role for me to help this child survive. I felt obligated to do it,” said Amadeo.

The family says they are working to raise money to go to Arizona and get Bobby care. They are asking for support.

Michigan Medicine previously released a statement saying in full:

Michigan Medicine follows the State of Michigan law on determination of death, and conducts extensive testing before determining there is brain death due to the irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain.

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.

If another facility provides technology or services not available at Michigan Medicine -- and the patient’s family chooses to go elsewhere-- our team will facilitate a transfer.

And our care teams work hard providing families with extensive support when their children’s health continues to worsen despite treatment.