2-Year-Old Dies After Hospital Tried to Remove Her Life Support Despite Her Parents’ Objections

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 22, 2016   |   8:12PM   |   Richmond, VA

A Virginia toddler whose family fought to keep her on life support after she choked on a piece of popcorn died earlier this month.

A VCU Medical Center spokesperson told WTVR News 6 that Mirranda Grace Lawson, 2, died on Nov. 1 after her kidneys failed. The toddler had been on life support since May.

Her parents, Patrick and Alison Lawson of Fauquier County, Virginia, began a legal battle to keep their daughter on life support earlier this year after doctors said Mirranda likely was brain dead.

WTVR News 6 reports Mirranda choked on a piece of popcorn on May 11, suffered cardiac arrest and was placed on a ventilator. Doctors at VCU Medical Center said the toddler met the criteria for brain death, and they wanted to do a test to confirm it.

However, the Lawsons said the test involved removing Mirranda from the ventilator, and they were concerned that it could hurt her chance of recovering. Doctors responded that the test would not be dangerous to Mirranda.

“She’s a beautiful little girl,” her father told reporters in June. “She deserves a chance. That’s all we want is for her to have a chance.”

The Lawsons challenged the hospital in court, and the case was being appealed when Mirranda died, according to WTVR.

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VCU Health responded to the little girl’s death in a written statement:

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the Lawson family as they grieve Mirranda Grace’s death. During the several months Mirranda was at our hospital, we saw the Lawson’s enduring love and support of their daughter in dealing with the tragedy. Mirranda’s medical team demonstrated the highest-levels of quality and compassionate care for her and her family. Our thoughts and best hopes remain with the Lawsons.”

Here’s more from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Mirranda’s father, Patrick Lawson, said in an interview with the AP in July that the girl choked after she got into a bag of popcorn the family was sharing on his wife’s birthday. The father performed CPR until paramedics arrived and intubated the child.

Patrick Lawson said at the time that they believed the girl was improving and wanted her doctors to give her a portable ventilator and feeding tube so she could be transferred to another hospital or cared for at home.

Her case is the second that LifeNews reported in the past year involving a battle between a hospital and the family of a young child.

Israel Stinson, a 2-year-old from California, was at the center of a legal battle this spring after a hospital threatened to take him off life support against his family’s wishes. After weeks of legal proceedings, Israel was transferred to a hospital in Guatemala where he was treated and given a chance to recover, LifeNews reported.

However, Israel was transferred back to a U.S. hospital in August, and a judge quickly dissolved an injunction that prevented it from turning off his ventilator. He died shortly afterward.