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Family in legal battle with VCU Medical Center says daughter is still with them

Posted at 11:33 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 15:35:17-04

RICHMOND, Va --  A Northern Virginia family who is in a legal battle with VCU Medical Center over the care of their two-year old daughter said they are seeing signs she is still with them.

Patrick Lawson stood in the shadow of VCU Medical Center, where his daughter Mirranda is fighting for her life, next to complete strangers who came to show their support for his family Wednesday.



Mirranda, choked on a kernel of popcorn two weeks ago and has been at the Pediatric ICU ever since.

Her doctors believe Mirranda is past the point of recovery and want to administer a test to determine whether or not she can survive on her own, according to the child's family.



Mirranda's family is adamantly opposed to the testing. Lawson said he thinks Mirranda's doctors do not think she can pull through, but he is seeing other signs.

"How can this test help my daughter?" said Lawson.  "Our little girl is still responding to us. When I come into the room, if I don't immediately say hi to her, her blood pressure immediately drops, and as soon as I go over to her, it goes right back up again."

Mirranda family

VCU Health System said they asked the court system for guidance about how to proceed, according to a spokesperson. VCU Health released the following statement in reference to Mirranda's care:

"VCU Health System is fully committed to the care of Mirranda Lawson and to assisting her parents and family. The child has been in the pediatric intensive care unit for two weeks as of today (May 25), and the family continues to oppose medical tests that would help the child’s medical team ascertain her condition. Because of this we have asked the court for its guidance in this very difficult situation. To assist in its deliberations, the court has appointed a guardian ad litem for an impartial assessment and recommendation regarding what is in the best interest of the child. VCU Health System will fully cooperate with the guardian ad litem’s assessment and any guidance provided by the court."

Lawson said a lawyer from Manassas, Virginia, approached the family to offer help with the case. A hearing originally scheduled for Thursday was postponed until next week, according to Lawson's family.  Lawson said all they want to do is give their daughter more time.

"Everyday they don't perform that test is another day she gets to study for it," he said.

Medical professionals not affiliated with the case told CBS 6 Mirranda's doctors are in a tough spot, but appear to be following the proper protocol.  Still, those same experts said "once in a blue moon" patients who look like they won't make it do get better.