9-year-old girl who suffered a cardiac arrest dies after 24 hospitals refused to put her on life support

Payton Summons passed away at 8.30 pm on Friday at the Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth after she was declared brain dead and her life support was withdrawn

                            9-year-old girl who suffered a cardiac arrest dies after 24 hospitals refused to put her on life support

A 9-year-old child from Texas who was granted another week on life support after she was declared brain dead last month passed away on Friday in her hospital bed. 

The family's attorney Justin A Moore said in a statement that little Payton Summons passed away around 8.30 pm on Friday at the Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. "Known by everyone as full of determination and fight, she fought until her heart gave out. After scoring a big win in the Appeals court today, she left us just a few hours later. She showed us how to fight against the odds. #RIPPJ". 


The State District Judge Melody Wilkinson decided to extend an order that Cook Children's Medical Center keep Payton on life support until 6 pm, October 22. On September 25, while Payton was at her grandmother's house, she suffered from cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital. In a statement, the hospital revealed that she had an inoperable tumor in her chest which had restricted her blood circulation. 

After Payton was in the hospital for 24 hours, the doctors conducted a brain death examination and found that she was brain dead. Payton had already survived cancer. Initially, the doctors at the hospital wanted to take Payton off life support as there was little to almost no hope that Payton would make it through. 

Wilkinson had ruled that the doctors would only be allowed to take her off life support on Monday afternoon given that the parents could find no alternative facility. The family desperately contacted around 24 hospitals in the hopes that she could be transferred but none of the hospitals would take her, co-counsel Paul Stafford shared. 

Payton's mother Tiffany Hofstetter told KTVT about the incident on September 25 and said that her daughter "screamed for her grandmother to help her and said that she couldn't breathe... Then she collapsed". She was rushed to the hospital and the doctors were able to hear a heartbeat but she had to be placed on a ventilator as she stopped breathing. 

The doctors were able to revive her heartbeat but discovered that she was not able to breathe on her own. She was without oxygen to the brain for around an hour. 


The doctors then discovered that she had a tumor which was twice the size of her heart and it was crushing her heart and lungs and cutting off her circulation.

The doctors decided to run an electroencephalogram (EEG) test which showed "no electrical activity in her brain". In September, the hospital released a statement which said, "Per our protocol and national pediatric medical standards, a second brain death exam was scheduled to take place by a different physician within 12 hours of the first to complete the legal process of declaring Payton deceased". 

"In addition to dealing with the sudden blow of her cardiac arrest and devastating brain injury, Payton's family is also coping with the news that the arrest was caused by the growth of a very large tumor in her chest that shutt off her circulatory system". 

Payton's family had resorted to filing a temporary restraining order against the hospital to keep her on life support after her cardiac arrest. The co-counsel Paul Stafford said, "Unfortunately, after 25 out of 28 facilities that were contacted, we had no takers, we have two maybes and those were preconditioned on certain things which may be life-threatening to Payton if performed."