Parents of boy declared brain dead after asthma attack fight to keep him alive

The parents of a 2-year-old boy who was declared brain dead after being hospitalized by an asthma attack in April are sharing a video that they say shows their son is still alive. Israel Stinson is seen in his hospital bed moving after being tickled and touched by his mother.

“In brain death we know there are instances where patients appear to move,” pediatrician Dr. Angelica Ha, told Fox40. “So they may look like twitches or muscle contractions, and that can be very difficult for people to see. But in brain death, the brain is not functioning. It’s an irreversible condition.”

The family is fighting to move Israel from California to New Jersey where the laws on what determines brain death differ, Fox40 reported. However, to make the move, the toddler would need feeding and air tubes inserted, procedures which doctors in California will not perform.

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“We understand that he’s not exactly as we want him to be,” Jonee Fonseca, Israel’s mother, told Fox40. “But that doesn’t mean we have to start planning a funeral.”

The family is waiting to hear from a judge about whether they are permitted to force doctors to give their son a ventilator tube and feeding tube, Fox40 reported.