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Archive for the ‘Leigh’s Disease’ Category

┬áIn following up on my Bits and Pieces posting, I had mentioned that Baby Emilio Gonzales’ Mother was fighting hard to keep Baby Emilio, at 17mos old, sustained on resuscitation equipment for just a little bit longer. On April 17th, the Court heard the matter and extended the hearing awaiting on other findings. On May 8th, the Guardian ad Litem for Baby Emilio agreed with the doctors that the baby should no longer remain on resuscitation equipment and filed a legal brief so stating the decision. While the legal brief had been filed in agreement with the doctors, it is unclear to the reported articles on MyFoxAustin whether or not the baby, at the time being 18mos, was actually taken off the resuscitation equipment or Baby Emilio Gonzales has actually died yesterday on his own as a direct result of the Leigh’s Disease, a disease that attacks the central nervous system, last night, May 19, 2007.

In an Austin American-Statesman blurb, “Emilio Gonzales loses battle with illness”, it is stated simply, “Mother who fought to continue son’s treatment cradles 19-month-old at end.”

In accordance with the Austin American-Statesman article, “Baby on life support dies of natural causes: Mother who fought to continue son’s treatment cradles 19-month-old at end”, serves to confirm that, in the end, Baby Emilio dies of natural causes and, as his attorney (JerriLynn Ward) puts it when interviewed, “God chose to take Emilio at this time”.

It is disheartening to every Mom when their own child dies, much more so when your only child (and possibly your only child ever), Emilio Gonzales, dies in his Mom, Catarina Gonzales’, own arms. Much heartfelt sympathy will certainly be felt by the Lockhart community she and the baby are from, the Austin community where she and the baby stayed for the majority of his life, and communities around the world who have heard of the plight and fight for sustaining his life in the hospital.

As per the Austin American-Stateman’s article, it goes on to say:

“According to Texas law, once doctors give notice that they want to stop treating a patient against the family’s wishes, they can start a process in which the family has 10 days to transfer the loved one to another facility.

 

The hospital and the court had given Gonzales and her supporters more time to find another facility, but months of searching had failed.

 

In recent weeks, a court-appointed guardian for Emilio had filed legal briefs backing the doctors’ and hospital’s intentions to stop treatment. The next court hearing had been scheduled for May 30.

 

[JerriLynn] Ward [Baby Emilio’s attorney] said that Emilio’s mother’s fight was against the law permitting doctors to decide when to end treatment and that she didn’t know if Catarina Gonzales would press the fight.”

Whether or not Catarina Gonzales has the strength now to fight the fight to change the law should be a moot point, the legislation in the Texas’ chambers should be continued to be fought for some degree of change because it is likely right around the corner there is another mother having to make that frightening decision of whether or not to continue resuscitation of her own child. The laws need to be made clearer.

In the meantime, whether or not you agree with Catarina Gonzales’, the mother of Emilio Gonzales, decision, she should be put down in history as one of the strongest mothers in the world to have to fight for the right to her son’s life in spite of the dismal prognosis of the son’s fight with the illness of Leigh’s Disease. Hopefully, her fight will not be a futile one and laws can be changed to be clearer, as well as giving the loved ones more of a chance and voice to make such grueling decisions, as well as more of an awareness of the disease and more research can be given to a possible cure for this gripping and fatal disease in the future.

May peace be with Emilio Gonzales as he no longer suffers now.

May peace be with Catarina Gonzales and the families of them as they properly grieve their child missing from their arms. May Catarina Gonzales, also, find peace and strength in the future, no matter which path she chooses (continuing to fight the legislation battles, making an awareness known more about the Leigh’s Disease and a movement for a cure, or any other number of proactive measures in the memory of her son).

Additional Information about Leigh’s Disease:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders

Madison’s Foundation – Moms & Dads in Search of Needed Support

Wikipedia: Leigh’s Disease

Addtional Information about Futile Care Legislation:

Futile Care Debate: Prolonging Life or Suffering? (May 6, 2007)

Highlights from Texas Legislature (May 14, 2007)

Also posted in:

“Inquiring Minds” — my Statesman.com Reader Blog

“Inquiring Minds” — my MyFoxAustin.com Watcher Blog

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