Mother of brain dead teen Jahi McMath gives update on daughter's condition

OAKLAND, CA (FOX NEWS) - In her first public update in over three months, Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, released a photo on Facebook informing her followers of Jahi’s status, stating that she sees changes in her daughter that “Jahi as healthy and beautiful as ever, proving the naysayers wrong. A fighter, A warrior, A blessed child, Gods got your back little girl, keep fighting.”

In the letter, Winkfield also thanked everyone who had supported her as she fought to move her daughter to another medical facility.

“Your testimony will be a great one. Prayers going up from many, all the prayers, good wishes combined with your mothers love for you which is pure and soothing will definitely keep you going. Stay blessed everyone and thank you for your prayers and love.”

In January 2014, Jahi was at the center of an intense legal battle between her family and Children’s Hospital Oakland in California.  Although experts at the hospital had declared Jahi brain dead, her family refused to have her removed from life support and fought to have her transferred to another hospital. After raising nearly $50,000 in private donations, the family eventually had Jahi moved to an unidentified long-term care facility.

Winkfield said that the intense media response surrounding her family’s legal struggle ultimately helped to raise awareness of Jahi’s condition.

“I also want to thank those who felt the need to go public with their opinions about me and my daughter, positive and even negative,” Winkfield wrote in  previous Facebook update. “It is because of you that my daughter's experience is so relevant and that people all over the world know who Jahi Mcmath is. What you may not know is that her name, Jahi, means one who is known by many. Hopefully my daughter can change some of the ways brain death is viewed in today's society. Honestly, I think she already has.”

Many medical experts have argued that being brain dead essentially means being dead, and it may be just a matter of time before Jahi’s body functions shut down completely.

According to Dr. Paul Vespa, director of neurocritical care at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has no role in Jahi's care, brain-dead people may look like they're sleeping, but it's "an illusion based on advanced medical techniques."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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