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Southland Family Battles To Keep Their Teenage Son On Life Support

LOS ANGELES ( —  A family is fighting to keep their son alive and on life support.

The hospital says 17-year-old Alan Sanchez is brain dead. His family wants to fight on.

The grieving family on Saturday spoke to KCAL9's Cristy Fajardo.

"We're fighting for his life right now," said his sister, Laura Sanchez-Alvarado.

At LA County-USC Medical Center tonight the family was holding a bedside vigil for Alan.

They said he needs another operation. Doctors are refusing to perform the operation because they said Sanchez is brain dead, days after being involved in a car accident.

They're also working the phones and hoping a judge will step in.

"They're just letting him die because they're not working on his stomach," said his sister.

Under state law, once a patient is declared brain dead they are legally deceased, Hospitals are then limited to keeping patients on life support just long enough to accommodate the family.

The Sanchez family insists Alan is reacting to voice commands and they showed Fajardo a video of his arm moving to prove it.

"My mom was just wishing for more testing, my mom is just wishing my brother gets the operation to his stomach and my mom just wants more time," said Sanchez-Alvarado.

In a statement a hospital spokesperson said, "While the hospital cannot discuss specifics on this unfortunate case due to patient confidentiality, we believe that LAC+USC staff have given medically appropriate care. We are openly communicating and working with the family in the most compassionate way possible given their tragedy."

"Right now, we do have a lot of faith. We're Catholic so we've been  praying," said Sanchez-Alvarado.

The family says the high school senior from Pomona was going to graduate next month and go on to college to study business. They say they just want to make sure they give him every chance to get there.

"We're going to fight to the end," said his sister, "We're not going to give up"

On Saturday, CBS2/KCAL9 legal analyst Steve Meister said if the family and the hospital continue their stalemate the court will have to step in like they have in similar cases that have made national headlines.


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