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Judge Declines To Extend Restraining Order Keeping North Texas Child On Life Support

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A family's fight to keep their 9-year-old daughter who is on life support alive, got heartbreaking news Wednesday.

At the end of an hours-long hearing, a judge declined to extend an order keeping 9-year-old Payton Summons on life support at Cook Children's Medical Center.

Summons has been on life support at Cook Children's Medical Center for more than two weeks after going into cardiac arrest - a tumor later found in her chest.

Payton Summons
Payton Summons (courtesy: Olivia Rae)

Her parents say she still has a heartbeat.. and is alive.  Cook Children's attorneys say she's brain dead, which legally means dead, and argues she should be removed from a ventilator.

A temporary 14-day restraining order issued October 1 has prevented them from doing so. The goal was to find another facility for Payton to go to during this time. Cook Children's attorneys says the hospital contacted 28 facilities to try and initiate a transfer. They all declined.

Payton Summons
(credit: Tiffany Hofstetter)

In Wednesday's hearing, testimony was heard on both sides - the judge ultimately deciding she will allow the order to expire.

"There is no treatment that can be provided for her at Cook Children's or any other facility. It was our hope today that the court would make a determination that would give this family some closure. Unfortunately that did not happen and we remain in legal limbo," said Laura Copeland of Cook Children's Healthcare System.

"On Monday the TRO expires. What does that mean the hospital will do with Payton? We're not quite sure. We're going to have some other discussions with all parties involved and we hope to try and continue to resolve this matter," said Paul Stafford, the Summons' family attorney.

Attorneys for Payton's family says they don't know if they'll file another order when the current expires.

They say there's no clear guidance in law for cases like this and they'll do what they believe is best for Payton.

The temporary restraining order expires Monday, October 15 at 1:20 p.m.


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