UPDATE: On Friday, instead of ruling on the temporary restraining order, a judge appointed an independent attorney to represent Payton, which extends and protects her life for right now. Justin Moore, the family attorney said, “The timeline is up in the air but she has more time to live so this is what we have.”1

We will continue to update you as we have more information.


Sweet 9-year-old Payton Summons has been on life support at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, since late September. However, since the hospital declared her brain-dead her family is now fighting to keep her alive.

“Last month, Payton was staying overnight with her grandmother when the young girl suddenly woke up, ‘screamed for her grandmother to help her and said that she couldn’t breathe … then she collapsed,’ Payton’s mother, Tiffany Hofstetter, told CNN affiliate KTVT in September.

Payton was taken to the hospital, where doctors established a heartbeat but put her on a ventilator since she wasn’t breathing. A test determined that Payton did not have brain activity. Under Texas law, a person is considered dead when they have suffered an irreversible loss of all brain function, a hospital statement said, according to KTVT.”2

The hospital later performed a second brain death exam less than 12 hours later, per their “protocol and national pediatric medical standards.”3

So, while according to the hospital Payton is dead, her parents- understandably- want more time. But, in order to keep her on life support, they had to file a temporary restraining order against the hospital and find another hospital willing to take their daughter. They have 12 days to find a new facility or Cook Children’s will remove her from life support.

Payton’s mother said,

“As of right now, we have not found a facility but we remain hopeful. I have friends and family that are continuing to send us different locations all over the United States that they feel would be a best fit for Payton, and we stay on top of it.

Payton never gave up on anything. And I know that in this situation, she wouldn’t give up, either. The fact that the doctors told me that her heart would stop on its own this weekend, and she made it until today, lets me know that Payton’s not done. She’s still here to fight. So I’m her voice, and I’ll do it for her.”4

According to a family lawyer, there will be a hearing on Friday to determine whether a judge will grant the family more time to find another hospital.

We will update you with more information. Stay strong and fight on, Payton! Our hearts are with you and your family.

Sources and References

  1. CBS News, October 5, 2018.
  2. CNN, October 4, 2018.
  3. CNN, October 4, 2018.
  4. CNN, October 4, 2018.