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Tinslee Lewis, 3, leaves hospital at the center of a survival battle after almost 3 years in Fort Worth, Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas — A 3-year-old Texas girl whose mother fought a court battle to prevent doctors from removing her from life-sustaining treatment has improved enough to be discharged from hospital last week and will now be cared for at home, a group advocating for her said.

Texas Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group, said this week that Tinslee Lewis’ health had “improved so steadily” that she was released from Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth on April 7.

“It’s encouraging to see that the family and the hospital have worked so hard together that Tinslee has benefited and he can go home,” Texas Right to Life spokeswoman Kimberlyn Schwartz said Wednesday.

RELATED: Hospital asks Texas Supreme Court to expedite review of baby on life support

The case has been making its way through the courts since November 2019, when the hospital planned to remove Tinslee from life support after invoking Texas’ so-called “10-day rule.” The law can be used when a family disagrees with doctors about withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.

The law states that if a hospital’s ethics committee agrees with doctors, treatment can be stopped after 10 days, as long as a new provider cannot be found to take the patient.

Texas Right to Life spokesperson Kimberlyn Schwartz said that over the past year, “the hospital and the family have worked well together.”

RELATED: Texas judge: Hospital can remove 11-month-old baby Tinslee from life support

Tinslee had been hospitalized since her premature birth in February 2019. The hospital said she was born with a rare heart defect and suffered from chronic lung disease and severe chronic high blood pressure. She was put on a ventilator several months after birth after going into respiratory arrest, the hospital said.

Schwartz said doctors eventually switched Tinslee from mouth ventilation to a tracheostomy. “It’s helped improve her health to the point where she can go home,” Schwartz said.

She said Tinslee, who is currently using a portable ventilator, has 24-hour nursing care at home.

A statement released by the Cook Children’s Health Care System this week said: “Cook Children’s medical teams have dedicated their lives to healing children and go to great lengths to do what they believe in their hearts and minds to be the best decision for each patient.”

RELATED: ‘She’s in pain’ hospital says 10-month-old Texas girl kept on life support is in pain

About two months into the legal proceedings, Lewis had revoked the hospital’s permission to speak about Tinslee.

In the Texas Right to Life statement, Lewis thanked “everyone who stepped up to help my daughter,” including her attorneys, doctors from Cook Children’s, Texas Right to Life and Protect TX Fragile Kids.

“We cherish and appreciate that Tinslee is home,” Lewis said.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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