3-year-old Tinslee Lewis emerges from the hospital at the center of a life-support struggle after nearly 3 years in Fort Worth, Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas — A 3-year-old Texas girl whose mother fought a lawsuit to prevent doctors from removing her from life support has improved enough to be discharged from the hospital last week and is now doing so is cared for at home, said a group that has campaigned for her.

Texas Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group, said this week that Tinslee Lewis’ health was “so steadily improving” 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 together so much that Tinslee has benefited and is actually able to go home,” Texas Right to Life spokeswoman Kimberlyn Schwartz said Wednesday.

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The case has been going 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 with doctors disagrees about stopping life-sustaining treatments.

The law provides that after approval by a hospital’s ethics committee with doctors, treatment can be stopped after 10 days as long as a new provider cannot be found to accept the patient.

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

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Tinslee has been hospitalized since giving birth in February 2019. The hospital said she was born with a rare heart condition and suffered from chronic lung disease and severe chronic high blood pressure. She was put on a ventilator a few months after she was born after suffering a respiratory arrest, the hospital said.

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

She said Tinslee, who is currently on a portable ventilator, is receiving 24-hour care at home.

A statement released this week by the Cook Children’s Health Care System said: “Cook Children’s medical teams have dedicated their lives to healing children and are making tireless efforts to do what is in their hearts and Every patient holds common sense as the very best decision.”

RELATED: ‘She’s in pain’ Hospital says 10-month-old Texas, who is on life support, is suffering

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

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

“We appreciate and enjoy Tinslee being home,” Lewis said.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 3-year-old Tinslee Lewis emerges from the hospital at the center of a life-support struggle after nearly 3 years in Fort Worth, Texas

Dais Johnston

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