Girl, 9, whose family fought to keep her on life support dies at Texas hospital

Posted at 10:12 AM, Oct 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-21 11:14:30-04

By Kali O'Rourke 

FORT WORTH, TX (RNN) - Hours after a Texas judge extended an order to keep the girl on a ventilator for a few days longer, 9-year-old Payton Summons died naturally in the hospital.

Payton, whose family fought to keep her on life support for almost a month, died when her heart stopped beating Friday around 8:30 p.m. at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, TX, her family’s attorney Justin Moore tweeted.

“Known by everyone as full of determination and fight she fought until her heart gave out… She showed us how to fight against the odds,” Moore wrote.

Payton was not removed from her ventilator before her death, the attorney clarified.

“The family is saddened by her loss but are glad she passed naturally,” Moore told CNN.

The 9-year-old had been at the center of a legal battle between her parents and the hospital.

Because she had been declared brain dead, doctors wanted to remove her from life support, which the girl’s parents, believing she could still recover, hoped to prevent.

A judge ruled Friday to keep a temporary restraining order against the hospital in effect through Monday.

The restraining order was initially granted Oct. 1 to prevent doctors from performing a brain activity test that, if negative, would result in Payton’s removal from life support because she would be legally deceased.

The 9-year-old suffered cardiac arrest and was admitted to the hospital Sept. 25. She was declared brain dead and placed on a ventilator at that time.

Payton’s parents used the time granted by restraining orders to try and find a different facility to care for their daughter, but they were ultimately unable to find one.

The hospital determined a large tumor found in Payton’s chest was responsible for her cardiac arrest.

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