Court battle: Is toddler who choked on popcorn to be removed from life support?
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Court battle: Is toddler who choked on popcorn to be removed from life support?

Cobrapost |
July 8, 2016

Court battle: Is toddler who choked on popcorn to be removed from life support?


RICHMOND: The pendant around Patrick Lawson’s neck reads “all things are possible.” That’s the hope that has kept him going since his 2-year-old daughter was placed on life support after choking on a popcorn kernel in May.

Doctors at a Virginia hospital say they’re certain Mirranda Grace Lawson won’t recover, and they want to perform a test they believe will confirm she’s brain dead. The hospital and experts say the test is harmless. But Lawson and his wife have refused, saying they worry the test will harm the girl. They believe she’ll open her big blue eyes again one day.

“We feel that God has told us that it’s his will that she is going to awaken,” Patrick Lawson said. “She has something to do in this world.”

Before May 11, Mirranda Lawson was an outgoing, bubbly toddler with a smile that stopped passers-by, Patrick Lawson said. On his wife’s birthday, Patrick Lawson took a day off from work to spend time with his family at their home on a small farm in Fauquier County. The toddler somehow got her hand in a bag of popcorn they were eating and choked, he said. The kernel obstructed her airway and she went into cardiac arrest. Her father performed CPR until paramedics arrived and intubated the child.

After doctors with the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System informed the Lawsons that Mirranda was likely brain dead, the family went to court to block the hospital from conducting the so-called apnea test. It involves taking the toddler off the ventilator briefly to see if her brain tries to tell the body to breathe on its own.

In a handwritten note to doctors, the Lawsons expressed opposition to the test. They cited their Christian faith and said removing her from life support would be “murder.”


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