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Mother of 10-month-old on life support refuses to give up but hospital warns of "more suffering"

10-month-old to stay on life support: judge
Texas 10-month-old to stay on life support another 3 weeks, judge rules 03:05

The family of a 10-month-old who's been on life support since she was born won a small legal victory in a heartbreaking battle to keep her alive. A judge in Texas ruled that Cook Children's Medical Center cannot disconnect Tinslee Lewis at least for another three weeks.

Born prematurely, Tinslee was diagnosed with a condition called Ebstein's anomaly, a rare heart defect, reports CBS News correspondent Janet Shamlian. Doctors at the medical center in Fort Worth say Tinslee has no chance at recovery or a normal life. They planned to remove her from life support last month by invoking the state's "10-day rule." The law allows a hospital to stop treatment after 10 days if an ethics committee agrees with the hospital's decision, and if no new health care provider is found.

Cook Medical Center said more than 20 other hospitals have declined to take Tinslee because they agree she won't improve.

But Tinslee's parents believe she has a right to live, and her mother, Trinity Lewis, refuses to give up.

"She's made it this far. I know she's going to continue to fight for her life," Lewis said. She said she's thrilled a judge has extended Tinslee's chance at life at least a few more weeks.

The judge granted the extension to take more time to consider the arguments.

Tinslee has been a patient at Cook Children's Medical Center since February.

"I spend the night up there all the time. I'm always there with her. She knows me, she interacts with me, everything," Lewis said.  

Wini King with the hospital says the hospital has been "devoted" to Tinslee since the beginning, but ongoing medical treatment is causing her to suffer.
"Even the most basic things. Changing her diaper, giving her medication, doing treatments for her can cause a medical crisis that will result in intervention and result in more pain and more suffering," King said.   

Lewis disagrees, saying she only wants what's best for her daughter.
"If I felt like she's suffering, I would not be where I'm at today fighting for her life," Lewis said.  

The hospital said it's fine with the judge delaying a decision until January, and that it will continue to care for Tinslee in the interim.

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