Alberta brain-damaged baby case put over until March, infant stays on respirator

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EDMONTON - An Alberta judge has given the parents of a brain-damaged infant more time to consult with medical experts to review whether their son should be unhooked from life support.
Rebecka May, mother of baby Isaiah May, said Friday that she and her husband should have a much better idea of their infant son's prognosis when they return to court on March 11.
"We should have the answers by then," May said outside court.
"Of course, I want all the time I can with him, but we hope to gain the most knowledge we can in that time and get the most questions answered and then be able to make an informed decision."
The baby was born last October with severe brain damage after his umbilical cord got wrapped around his throat, which deprived him of oxygen.
Doctors at Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital were planning to disconnect Isaiah from a ventilator on Jan. 20, but his parents persuaded a judge to give them time to get a second opinion.
Dr. Richard Taylor, a neonatologist from Victoria General Hospital, has agreed to examine the boy, but has just started reviewing the file and only arrived in Edmonton on Thursday. Taylor will return to Victoria to consult with colleagues before delivering his report.
Meanwhile, the Mays are trying to line up a second expert - which hasn't been easy, said their lawyer Rosanna Saccomani. Some doctors are reluctant to get involved in a case that has attracted so much media attention; some charge fees beyond the Mays' means.
"One doctor quoted us $750 an hour," she said. "That's prohibitive."
Taylor is not charging a fee, May said.
Saccomani said the family may reach a decision by the next court date or they may not - they just want to take their time to ensure they've got the best advice.
"We don't want to rush anything," she said. "There's no need to rush things. We're hoping to have an answer sooner rather than later but we want the proper time to be taken so the family gets all the answers they need."
Meanwhile, while baby Isaiah's condition hasn't changed much, he continues to grow and do well, said Rebecka May, 23.
"Everything is mostly the same. He has taken some breaths over the ventilator. He's growing, he gains weight, he's doing well overall."
Father Isaac May, 22, said his son now weighs 5.5 kilograms.
"He looks like a perfect little boy," said Isaac.
"We've had our ups and downs, of course, but the last few weeks have been pretty good. We've been able to have a break from everything and relax and spend a lot of time with Isaiah."

Organizations: Stollery Children's Hospital, Victoria General Hospital

Geographic location: Alberta, EDMONTON

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