A 10-month-old boy who was found unconscious in a bathtub last month has died hours after being released from hospital, after his parents sued the hospital to keep him on life support.
Nick Torres’s heart stopped beating Tuesday after he returned home from Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center with his parents Mario and Ana Patricia.
They had previously filed a lawsuit against the children’s hospital in the hope of keeping him on a ventilator after he was pronounced brain dead on September 30.
Nick Torres’s heart has stopped beating after he returned home on Tuesday after his parents sued the hospital to keep him on life support
Nick Torres’s heat stopped beating Tuesday after he returned home from Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center with his parents Mario and Ana Patricia (pictured)
The boy had been in the intensive care unit since September 24 after he was found ‘laying in water and unresponsive’, in a near-drowning accident.
Six days later, hospital staff declared the boy deceased due to a lack of brain activity and recommended he be disconnected from his ventilator, but his parents protested.
Dr Joseph Varon, a critical care doctor, told CNN: ‘Unfortunately, the heartbeat of the baby has actually stopped.
‘We were able to safely transport him to his home, where he remained for a couple of hours and then his heart rate slowly went down until it stopped.’
Ten-month-old Nick Torres has been in the ICU since September 24, when he was found unconscious in a bathtub
Doctors had agreed to release Nick on Tuesday, the same day the lawsuit against the hospital was dismissed.
The hospital said in a statement: ‘With the full approval and authorization of the Harris County Medical Examiner, Texas Children’s released the body to the family. We continue to do everything we reasonably can to support the Torres family in this very tragic and difficult situation.’
The parents last Wednesday filed for an injunction against the hospital and also sought more than $1million, claiming doctors were ‘rushing to make a decision’ and not giving their son the opportunity to fight for his life.
The couple have maintained only God can decide to give or take away their son’s life and the decision should not fall on the doctors.
Mario and Ana Patricia, from Houston, tried to sue Texas Children’s Hospital after doctors urged the parents to pull the plug on their baby son
Doctors had agreed to release Nick on Tuesday, the same day the lawsuit against the hospital was dismissed
His mother wrote at the time: ‘He is on life support, but the doctors already lost hope and want to remove the life support that is keeping him alive. I have faith that GOD is the main doctor.’
A Harris County district judge denied the injunction last week but granted the parents more time to file an appeal.
Family attorney Kevin Acevedo described the matter as a morality issue about who should be allowed to decide between ‘life and death’.
The hospital argued that baby Nick had no blood flow to his brain and was considered dead according to Texas law
The boy’s heartbroken parents asked the public to support them in their battle to keep him alive
The parents claimed doctors were ‘rushing to make a decision’ to end their son’s life
‘Do the parents choose, or do the doctors choose? And when the doctors don’t agree with the parents, who gets to decide? And those are the issues that are at the heart of this case,’ he told the news station.
The hospital meanwhile argued that baby Nick had no blood flow to his brain and was considered dead according to Texas law.
The senior medical doctor who pronounced the boy dead also noted he had started to show ‘postmortem deterioration’ which cannot be slowed down by a ventilator.
The hospital said Nick had also ‘developed progressive signs of organ failure, including cardiac failure,’ according to court documents.
‘[His] current condition and physiological changes have nothing to do with the presence of oxygen provided by the ventilator. In addition, these changes cannot be stopped or slowed by the ventilator or any other service,’ doctors said.
The senior medical doctor who pronounced the boy dead noted he had started to show ‘postmortem deterioration’ which cannot be slowed down by a ventilator
The family had launched an online petition and a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of buying more time with their son
Meanwhile, the Torres family documented their battle on social media, asking for prayers and support.
‘We want to take our baby home and provide home care since no hospital is willing to take him,’ Patricia Torres wrote in a Facebook post.
‘HE IS ALIVE. His heart is beating on its own. Blood is running through his veins, we’ve been changing his diapers, a dead person does not pee or poo. His eyes have tears, he is crying for justice.
‘I don’t want a Hospital to decide if my baby dies or lives. Only God can give and take life away [it’s] not for a human to decide.’
The hospital said Nick had ‘developed progressive signs of organ failure, including cardiac failure,’ according to court documents