Around Christmastime the media usually pulls out the best of the human interest stories they have been sitting on or that they can scrounge up on short notice. Local charities are a great source for these types of stories, but the media will hit you with a hard one to get to your emotional core. In a very short span of time, a brain dead teen went from patient intake to CNN human interest story. The story tugs heart strings, paints a picture in line with the liberal narrative, and misreports the story to prevent real questions or a good use of the subject.

Thirteen-year-old Jahi McMath went into the hospital for surgery with her loving family beside her. She was pronounced brain dead shortly after the recovery from the surgery. The family is using a personal injury lawyer to stop the hospital from ending care (unplugging) since she is legally dead. Pro bono of course, but what great publicity and free advertising for him. The San Francisco Examiner published a Christmas Day blurb by McMath’s lawyer, where he once again states it was a “routine tonsillectomy”. Please note that the girl was admitted on Dec 9th, declared brain dead on Dec 12th, and this blew up on CNN within a week.

Every single report states that it is a simple tonsillectomy, but that is not the whole truth. The media knows this, but fails to report it and continues the charade. The court documents state that it was far more involved. This is not a simple tonsils-out-and-ice-cream-later procedure but a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UP3). The AP and Huffpo call it a simple tonsillectomy despite there being court documents that show it was a UP3. A UP3 is invasive, risky and comes with complications, per the NY Times and many sleep disorder forums. They want you to think this was just a tonsillectomy to help the eventual shakedown by the family with this lawyer’s help because readers will be shocked to think someone could die from a tonsillectomy.

A simple question no media member is asking is why a thirteen-year-old is getting a UP3. A UP3 is a surgery to help people suffering from sleep apnea. They never say she suffered from sleep apnea, because to mention it would distort the narrative. How is a thirteen-year-old already suffering from sleep apnea? Google Image search results show Jahi McMath as obese.

This is the world of obese America, where we see a rise in sleep apnea due to 1/3 of the US being overweight and 1/3 being obese. You probably have a family member with one of those sleep masks to keep an oxygen flow going, and they are probably overweight. This should not affect a thirteen-year-old. Kids are developing not only adult problems, but problems that only fat adults have.

Why did the doctor go the UP3 route? Why a UP3 on such a young person when UP3s have the high chance of not ending the sleep apnea over the long term? Did they try a weight loss program? Did the medical professionals want to rack up some surgery fees? That is not an accusation, but no one is asking the question. This surgery has plenty of side effects and risks that are compounded when a patient is obese. It is a testament to how fantastic our medical technology has become that people would rather go under the knife for things they could correct with weight loss. Surgeons have become a social safety net for poor eating decisions. People do not think twice and just sign the release forms. This is a conversation the media could start, using this teenager as an everyday example.

The greater conversation is about obesity and the culpability of the obese themselves. There are money quotes from the mother of McMath about her child being perfectly fine before going to that hospital, but no one bothers to mention her daughter being obese to the point of needing surgery to prevent her from dying in her sleep. Obese is not fine. Maybe they did try a weight loss program, and momma didn’t ‘mom up’ and work hard on getting her kid in shape.

All surgery comes with risk, and obesity sets up people for long term health problems. The media does not want to use the Jahi McMath story as a human interest story to get people talking about medicine, obesity and health. It’s a complex world, after all, so we should take care of what we have control over, and pull back on hyperventilating over abstract or far-away problems, right? Readers are already tense from holiday stress, so scratch at those primed hearts with a horror story. The media wants Americans to see a young black girl killed by a heartless, cold and cruel medical system, as though your child may go in for a tonsillectomy and come out in a body bag.

  • FWM

    The parents are also fat, so there is little mystery. Obesity rates are much higher for American Africans than Whites.
    This is a story of lack of responsibility at every level… astronomically increasing the risk of tragedy, followed by blaming (musical chairs for forcing responsibility – with profit thrown in as a catalyst).

    I wouldn’t want her organs.

    • Theden

      First of all let get something clear obesity is much higher in White than Black. I do agree that we are not getting the full story and that the operations was more complex than what is being told. The parents are not fat, you need to look at their pictures on the internet. Let not always make this a white/black issues. I agree that obesity in children should be addressed and parents should feed their children healthy food, let not forget schools have eliminate gym classes where they would get exercise on a daily basis.

      • mrm27

        Blacks are obese at a far greater rate than any other group.

      • Kent Dorfman

        Sorry, look at Google images. The parents are fat. They aren’t ‘morbidly’ obese, but clearly overweight. However, compared to many Americans they probably appear to be slim but that’s another story. It would appear that unhealthy habits abound in that household and probably contributed to the condition which ultimately led to death of the child. Regardless of all of the above, it is a sad story about a little girl who died unexpectedly and parents who have made a spectacle of the tragedy by exploitative, irrational behavior, litigation and a lack of clarity on what actually happened at the hospital. I would love to hear the hospital’s side of the story.

      • SolDeus

        Not true. The numbers show that black women are the most obese females in this country by a mile.

        • BriMichelle

          Well this isn’t entirely accurate. Stats are one thing but can be very misleading. Black individuals do not have the same body make-up. I know some of my AA friends weigh MORE than me and look every slender. I’m not “overweight” myself, even though if you go by the stereotypical “BMI” charts I am. I weight-lift and have a good amount of muscle. It’s difficult to actually concretely say “black people are [insert number] more likely to be obese than white people” for a number of reason. First off: imagine what that actually entails to be 100% accurate: everyone in the country would have to have a body composition analysis (instead of relying on BMI charts). But I dont even know what this has to with the story: obesity inflicts a good portion of the country it regardless of race.

          This is sad. I’m tired of the obesity narrative myself (as someone who at least puts effort into not becoming unhealthy because I’m lazy and/or want to scare down the entirety of the McDonalds $1 menu).

          I get why this is about obesity. I dont get how you have made it a race thing…

          • Simon H.

            FWM didn’t make it a “Race” thing, FWM was only listing probable factors that contributed to the issue. We’re not saying black people are demons every time we mention the fact that the group exists, so calm down.

  • you asked

    Thank you for being 1 of the few media sources who are actually telling the truth. So many other sources still claim it was from a tonsillectomy. As a nurse, I knew there had to be more to the story than what was being reported. I hope that many of the questions you asked in your article will be answered. I also hope the family will allow the hospital to release a statement, so we can hear both sides, instead of just what the Mother is saying. Too many are taking her words as ‘fact’ instead of waiting to hear both sides.

  • cvryder2000

    In children, and Jahi Mcmath still qualified as a child at 13, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to obesity as well as the other way around. Do some research. It’s a fact. I have also noticed in pictures that her neck seems unusually short, which could also be part of the problem. You don’t know what other physical problems she might have had. I have read that she suffered from bedwetting episodes as a result of the sleep apnea also, which indicates it was very severe. The hospital is limited in what it can say because of HIPAA laws, while the family can say anything they want. Also a fact. There’s a lot at play here.

    • SolDeus

      Her neck is not short, she is just so fat that it makes it look that way.

  • Steven Lee Burgess

    All the above may be true or not, until the court case no one will know for sure. The problem with this is the family should not have to let the hospital and the doctor’s who may or may not have killed her get to decide when she has to be taken off the machine. Let them grieve in their way. The hospital has been fighting to finish this little girl off as fast a possible. Let the family grieve without having to stand by and let it happen. This was a test case for death panels. Of course instead of using a old person in a coma with no brain waves who most likely drank, and smoked, and ate his or her way into a coma. This is a young girl who should still be alive.

  • woman

    This is ultimately the hospital’s wrongdoing. They misled these parents, and now the parents are trying to milk it for all it’s worth. The hospital is going to pay either way.

    • Slopez76

      The hospital didn’t on their door and given everything going on, the family could be responsible and this is why have created the circus they have. I HOPE, the hospital fights the lawsuit that IS COMING – the attorney is preparing his pleading now!

  • castingstones2

    Thank you for reporting this. I am so mad that major news organizations aren’t reporting this.

  • Slopez76

    Mom is in denial given her claims of “routine procedure.” Although the procedure itself is routine, EVERY patient is different! Given the girl being Declared dead and a death certificate having issued (although not Final w/out an autopsy), the mother will never accept she’s gone on her own and make the decision to turn the ventillator off. I would NOT want my child decomposing right before my eyes UNLESS, they are trying to cover something up (ie giving her food w/out permission and/or a Popsicle). I am glad laws are place so people don’t to make a decision – the hardest thing to do for a parent. As for these other stories where people were given an outcome and said okay, I’ll donate or gens – shame on YOU!!!! Where we’re the requests for a 2nd opinion!!!! Sadly, I believe they are being driven by the payout. Once they receive it, I hope w/every dollar spent, they remember what they did to her body! I tell you, as a supposedly distraught mom, mom hair, make-up and nails wouln’t be prime all “did!” Come on, grandma also looked like she was on her way to Hawaii. Shocking that they’re concerned about they look in front of a camera! At least they look good while their loved one rots. At least her soul is at rest!

  • SolDeus

    The whole family is fat, they probably eat garbage every day and gave the girl as much food as she wanted. Terrible parenting and they are now trying to push the blame away from themselves for their unhealthy daughter’s death.

    Take the body off corpse support.

  • Fiona1933

    I believe the doctors did advise weight loss and exercise but the mother didnt want to go to all that trouble.

  • disqus_xCP7Qd3O0C

    Don’t know if it’s true, but I also read that while still in the hospital in recovery from the surgery, Jahi told her mom and aunts she wanted a cheeseburger, so they brought her one and she ate it. This was when she was not supposed to be eating solidi foods again yet. If this is true, it’s indicative of their lives and might have caused the complications.

  • Alexandra1973

    Then there’s the issue of Jahi’s family allegedly ignoring post-op instructions, and assorted family members let loose with the suctioning tube (grandmother admitted to suctioning). It might not have been the surgery itself, but what happened afterward.

    Still I would agree that avoiding surgery is the best route. The fact that any surgery has risks should be an indicator that your body was really not meant to be cut into, though there are situations (such as a compound fracture) where the pros outweigh the cons.