Baby at center of life support debate dies shortly after release from Texas Children's Hospital
HOUSTON, Texas - Parents of a 10-month-old at the center of a life support debate involving Texas Children's Hospital are grieving the loss of their young son; the baby died shortly after he was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon, according to ABC 7 in Texas.
Dr. Joseph Varon said 10-month-old Nick Torres had only been home for two hours when his heart stopped beating.
"The family surrounded the baby. They were praying," he said. "Everyone was very respectful and praying. Eventually, when I said he had flat-lined, I disconnected him from the respirator. They were very emotional. The last thing you want to see is your children go through this."
Torres was at the very center of legal fight for weeks, ABC 7 reports. On Sept. 24, the child was found unresponsive after being left unattended in a bathtub.
Six days later, doctors at Texas Children's Hospital said the child was brain dead and wanted to remove him from life support. But his parents argued he should be kept alive because his heart was still beating.
After several appeals, judges ruled in the hospital's favor.
The hospital eventually agreed to release Torres and allow him to be sent home, according to the attorney's office representing the family, if the Harris County Medical Examiner approved, as required by law.
ABC 7 says by Tuesday afternoon, Texas Children's confirmed the baby was released "with the full approval and authorization" of the medical examiner.
But Dr. Varon said the child's condition, tragically, led to an inevitable outcome. He also mentioned his surprise at how long Torres held on.
"As a clinician, I'm going to say it's just basic science," he explained. "This is just a natural evolution that was going to happen. Now, the timing is what calls my attention, to be honest with you. It would appear the baby waited until he got home to move on."
ABC 7 says a family spokesperson stated that the family and their attorney have signed a confidentiality agreement, saying they would not discuss the case further.
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