Edmond Woman Understands Difficult Life-Support Struggle In California Case

Tuesday, January 7th 2014, 6:50 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

An Edmond woman has a unique perspective on the national Jahi McMath case.

Thirteen-year-old McMath was declared legally brain dead after complications surrounding a tonsillectomy. Hospital officials in Oakland, California insisted on taking Jahi off life support, but her family eventually won a legal battle to move her to a separate facility to keep her alive.

Jahi's family is hoping for a miracle, much like the one Jill Finley experienced back in 2007. The Edmond woman woke up just hours after her family removed her from life support.

Finley doesn't have a strong an opinion on if Jahi should remain on life-support or not, but she is very strong in her belief of who will ultimately decide if the little girl lives or dies. And he's not on this earth.

Finley was in a coma for two weeks with no brain activity, when her family made the difficult decision to remove her from life support.

"I think it was 11 and a half hours after they turned everything off. I sat up in the bed and was like, get me out of here, I'm hungry," she recalled.

Today, Finley is living a nearly normal life; proof that miracles do happen. Yet, says she would hate her case to influence their decision.

"I'm a realist and I believe that whatever is going to happen is going to happen."

But Finley does say it's the family who should make that difficult decision.

"I just feel like it's in the family's hands and it's up to them to decide to do what they need to do."

Finley also firmly believes, in the end, the decision Jahi's family is likely struggling with isn't theirs.

"My faith is like leave it in God's hands, but is that leave her on or take her off."

In her case, Finley says she doesn't know if taking her off life support is what led to her waking up, or if she would have awakened anyway.