A provincial court in Alberta ordered Friday that baby Isaiah May remain on life support until March 11. The order gives Isaiah’s parents, who have been fighting to keep their brain-damaged baby alive, nearly three more weeks to assemble outside medical experts to assess his chances for further recovery.
Judge Michelle Crighton gave the order, which requires Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton to keep the nearly five-month old baby on his ventilator until at least that date.
Rebecka and Isaac May have been locked in a court battle since January with Alberta Health Services, which says it does not believe baby Isaiah will make further improvements, and therefore not worth the effort of keeping him alive.
Isaiah was born to Isaac and Rebecka May on October 24, 2009. During a long and arduous labor, Isaiah suffered severe oxygen deprivation because his umbilical was wrapped around his neck. The Mays were flown into Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, where he has remained ever since.
The Mays’ lawyer told Judge Crighton that Dr. Richard Taylor, a neonatologist from Victoria General Hospital, will be assessing Isaiah’s condition Friday.
According to CTV News, two other doctors are expected to give assessments of baby Isaiah’s chances for recovery, including one doctor from the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, who specializes in unusual medical cases.
“He’s doing very well, there hasn’t been very many improvements over the past few weeks but he’s still growing,” said Isaac Mays, according to CTV. “He’s over 12 pounds and he just looks like a perfect little boy.”
The parents were shocked on January 13 when they received a letter from the hospital asserting that their baby had not improved since birth, adding “there is no hope of recovery for Isaiah.” The hospital informed them that his ventilator would be removed on January 20.
The Mays thereafter took the hospital and Alberta Health Services to court.
Since that time, a Facebook group called “Prayers for Baby Isaiah James” has grown from around 5,000 members to over 38,000.
Media have repeatedly cited the group’s growth as a sign of the large public support for the parents as they struggle to give their son a chance to live.