A little girl whose parents were battling a hospital’s decision to remove her life support awoke from a coma earlier this month, the Daily Mail reports.
Marwa, a 1-year-old who lives with her family in France, was put in a medically-induced coma in September after she contracted a severe virus, according to the report.
Doctors at La Timone Hospital in Marseille, France later told the family that they wanted to remove Marwa’s life support. They said she appeared to have severe brain damage and likely would never breathe, eat or walk on her own, the report states.
Her parents fought against the doctors’ plans in court, arguing that their daughter should be given more time to recover. They also started a petition, Not without my Marwa, to ask the hospital to give their daughter more time. The petition has almost 115,000 signatures.
A French court recently granted the family a two-month extension of care for Marwa, according to the report. Just a few days later, her parents said she opened her eyes. On Nov. 22, her father posted a video of her smiling with her eyes open on Facebook.
“Her treatment continues, but we see progress every day and that gives us a lot of hope,” her father told a French news station. “When I speak to her, she hears my voice, she reacts, sometimes even smiles.”
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On the petition, the family added: “Only Marwa gives us hope every day by getting better and better. She just needs time.”
In the past year, LifeNews has covered several stories involving severely ill children who doctors wanted to take off life support against their parents’ will. Each resulted in legal battles between the families and the children’s health care facilities.
Israel Stinson, a 2-year-old from California who was labeled “brain dead” after a severe asthma attack, was at the center of a legal battle this spring after a hospital threatened to take him off life support. After weeks of legal proceedings, Israel was transferred to a hospital in Guatemala where he was being 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.
Another child named Mirranda Grace Lawson, 2, died in November in Virginia while her parents were in the middle of a legal battle with the hospital about removing her life support. Doctors said the toddler, who choked on a piece of popcorn, likely was brain dead, and they wanted to remove her from a ventilator. She died while still on life support.