Protesters at CHOP support two families fighting to keep their sons on life support

- A battle to keep two children alive.

Saturday, a group of protesters stood in the rain outside Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to support their families .

Doctors want to remove them from life support, but the parents are not ready to give up on their children.

The protesters tell FOX 29 they are pro-life and they believe the mothers of the two boys on life support deserve to be heard. One of those mothers was touched, she came down to join them.

“If someone’s trying to kill my child, there are more people who are trying to save my child. I’m very thankful,” said Rumpa Banarjee.

Banarjee was by her son’s hospital bedside when a relative told her there were protesters with signs and posters outside. The single mother has been fighting to keep her 14-year-old son Areen on life support after CHOP declared him brain dead following a fire at his Bordentown home last month. When she saw the Sparks family rallying on the sidewalk Saturday morning, Rumpa explained how she felt.

“I felt awesome. I felt there were so many people who were wonderful and understanding what I’m going through. And, they have been very helpful,” Banarjee said.

“He needs to be trached. He needs a ventilator. He needs time to heal. She says within 5 hours within him getting here, they wanted to remove life support. So, that’s terrible disservice to him. He deserves treatment,” Emily Sparks explained.

Sparks says she is prolife. The protesters hope to garner the attention of facilities in New Jersey willing to take in Areen and 10-year-old Jayden Auyeung. Jayden was declared brain dead at CHOP two weeks ago after going into cardiac arrest. His family, too, challenged doctors in court to keep their son on life support. 

Both boys are from New Jersey where state law provides a religious exception to families whose loved ones are declared brain dead, but whose heart and blood continue to pump through life support machines. It’s the second time in less than one month that a family has fought brain death diagnoses by CHOP doctors. The families’ attorney calls it unprecedented. Protesters say it’s about time.

“They have the right to live. Just because they need a ventilator live they need help breathing doesn’t mean their life is worthless. They deserve to breath just as much as you and I do,” said a protester.

FOX 29 reached out to CHOP on this story, but no word back from them. The hospital does maintain they are unable to share information on either case. Court decisions in both Jayden and Areen’s cases lie with Orphans Court judges and could come down at any time.
 

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