Hollywood, FL - Orthodox Jewish Parents Fight To Keep Their Teenage Daughter On Life Support
Hollywood, FL - Fifteen months ago, Danielle Zfat, 19, (Danielle Chaya Bat Aviva) of Hollywood, Florida was a healthy college-bound teenager. Today, she is on life support, fighting to stay alive, while her parents fend off efforts by the Joe DiMaggio Children‚Äôs Hospital to pull Danielle off of her life-sustaining devices.
‚ÄúOur way is to believe as a Jew,‚ÄĚ Aviva Zfat, Danielle‚Äôs mother, told WSVN-TV/Channel 7 News (http://bit.ly/WPZyjf) as she hugged her husband, Reuven. ‚ÄúIs that everything goes through the heart. As long as the heart beats, the soul is in the heart, and therefore, she is alive.‚ÄĚ
Danielle was diagnosed with a brain tumor 14 months ago after waking up with numbness on the right side of her body. She was admitted to the hospital on November 25th, but her condition worsened on January 1st and she was put on life-support. ‚ÄúWe just want her to live,‚ÄĚ Danielle‚Äôs mother said, crying. ‚ÄúWhen God decides to take her, then He will take her. She‚Äôs breathing. She‚Äôs alive. She‚Äôs up there alive, breathing. Take care of my daughter, please. Give her life. Don‚Äôt cut her off.‚ÄĚ
As Orthodox Jews, the Zfats are forbidden from removing Danielle from life support. The Zfats‚Äô attorneys filed an emergency motion to prevent the hospital from pulling the plug on Danielle after hospital physicians said they were planning to remove Danielle from her life-saving systems as of January 3rd.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs no analogy on life that‚Äôs safe when you‚Äôre talking about life,‚ÄĚ family attorney Moshe Rubenstein said. ‚ÄúLife is the highest and it‚Äôs our duty to move mountains ‚Äď in fact, to give our own life to save a life.‚ÄĚ Menachem Mayberg, the other family attorney, said, ‚ÄúThe doctors of the hospital specifically asked her whether or she wanted to fight and continue her life to live. She blinked once for yes.‚ÄĚ
For its part, the hospital has denied any attempts to remove Danielle from life support. In a statement, the hospital said patient confidentiality prevented them from discussing the case, but did say, ‚ÄúAs an institution that values deeper caring, we do our utmost to respect religious and cultural beliefs.‚ÄĚ
In the meantime, Aviva Zfat is bargaining with God to save her daughter‚Äôs life. ‚ÄúIf I can take her place, I‚Äôll do it,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôll switch places. I‚Äôm older. I‚Äôve done enough for me. She can have my time.‚ÄĚ
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