‘Baby Tinslee’ is going home after mom’s yearslong battle with hospital to keep her on life support

Tinslee Lewis
Tinslee Lewis, a 9-month-old baby girl at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. |

Tinslee Lewis, the prematurely born infant at the center of a highly publicized lawsuit over whether a Texas medical center could end her life-sustaining care, has been released from the hospital.

Tinslee was born prematurely in 2019 with a heart defect, with Cook Children's Medical Center of Fort Worth officials initially concluding that continued treatment would be pointless.

The pro-life group Texas Right to Life, which had been active in trying to save the life of Tinslee, released a statement Tuesday announcing that Lewis was released from the hospital and doing well.

“Tinslee is alive, thriving, and growing. A happy and strong toddler, Tinslee’s health has so steadily improved that the hospital released her to go home,” stated Right to Life.

“Tinslee has received excellent care from Cook Children’s Medical Center. It is with their efforts that Tinslee will now transition to home health care.”

Right to Life quoted a statement from Trinity Lewis, mother of Tinslee, who said she was “so thankful for everyone who pulled together to help my daughter, including the doctors at Cooks, Texas Right to Life, our attorneys at Daniels & Tredennick law firm, Joe Nixon, Kassi Marks, and Protect Texas Fragile Kids.”

“We have been cherishing and enjoying Tinslee being home, and we appreciate everyone who stepped up to help in any way as well,” she added.  

In November 2019, the Cook Children’s Medical Center attempted to remove life support from the baby, having concluded that she was not going to be cured of a serious heart condition.

The hospital invoked the Advance Directives Act, which allows a hospital to give a family 10 days’ notice to find another medical facility that would be willing to continue treatment.

If a family cannot find a new hospital by the tenth day, then all treatments are withdrawn unless a judge issues a court order requiring the hospital to continue life-sustaining care.

Tinslee’s family filed suit against the hospital. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton showed his support for the baby and her family by filing an amicus brief on their behalf.

“One of the core principles provided by the U.S. Constitution is that no person should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law,” said Paxton in a statement given to The Christian Post in 2019.

In January 2020, a judge ruled in favor of the medical center, with the hospital releasing a statement in support of the decision, and again arguing that Tinslee had no chance of survival.

“This is an emotional and difficult situation for everyone involved, especially for this family who had high hopes that Tinslee would get better,” stated the hospital.

“Cook Children's has been devoted to this precious baby her entire life, providing compassionate, round-the-clock, intensive care and attention since she arrived at our hospital 11 months ago … Her body is tired. She is suffering. It's time to end this cycle because, tragically, none of these efforts will ever make her better.”

However, shortly after the decision, Texas’ Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth ordered the hospital to keep Tinslee on life-sustaining treatment pending the end of litigation.

In January of last year, the Supreme Court declined an appeal from the hospital, allowing the lower court ruling temporarily blocking the medical center from ending Tinslee’s life to remain in effect.

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