The infant the BC government allegedly attempted to remove from life support without parental consent is now recovering off her ventilator.
Father Justin Pierce confirmed with Cannabis in Canada he and his wife Michelle Arnold decided to withdraw an application to keep their daughter, Mary-Jane Lakota Ali Pierce, on a ventilator because she hasn’t needed to use it in weeks, although she still needs some help to breathe.
“She’s doing great,” Pierce said. “She’s giving reactions now when we touch her and change her diaper.”
Mary-Jane was born 25-weeks premature April 5, with several life-threatening conditions including cerebral palsy, E. coli and a grade-4 brain bleed. Her parents claim the Ministry of Children and Family Development tried moving their daughter into palliative care, launching a legal battle against the province to maintain life support.
But with the baby now putting on weight and breathing on her own, Pierce and Arnold have dropped the life support lawsuit, but they’re still fighting with the government for custody. Pierce is confident the Chilliwack couple will win and be able to bring Mary-Jane home.
The ministry has not commented on the ongoing case.
Mary-Jane is doing so well, Pierce said she could be discharged as early as two weeks from now from the BC Women’s Hospital.
The couple’s lawyer, Erin Haupt, said the province wants to maintain custody of Mary-Jane, but Pierce and Arnold are working to learn how to better care for their daughter’s medical issues before their next court date in the coming months.
“Hospital staff are training us how to give her medications and how to take care of her,” Pierce said.
The story attracted additional attention for the couple’s use of cannabidiol in treating Mary-Jane’s over 100 seizures a day.
Pierce said they are, “not giving up on cannabis oil treatment.”
The couple has set up a fundraiser to help with legal fees, medical expenses and food and housing costs.