Local hospital removes ventilator despite man's efforts to keep wife alive

HOUSTON – A family’s fight to overcome legal and financial hurdles to keep their matriarch alive took a painful turn Monday after a 10-day window expired, allowing doctors to remove her from a ventilator. 

Carolyn Jones was being treated at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. Jones suffered a stroke two years ago and has been treated at Memorial Hermann Southwest since last fall. Earlier this month, Jones’ family was notified of a decision to take her off of ventilation, eventually, following parameters outlined in a section of Texas’ Advance Directives Act. 

At issue is a so-called 10-day rule, which Jones’ family said unfairly gives doctors the right to decide whether the 61-year-old gets to live.

"You have prisoners on death row. They're waiting to get executed. This is the same situation we're dealing with here," said Donald Jones, Carolyn Jones’ husband.

Donald Jones, along with the couple’s daughter, Kina, spoke with KPRC2 outside Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital on Monday. The family confirmed doctors took Carolyn off ventilation after 2 p.m. Monday, after the 10-day window to move to a new facility expired.

"It's not right, not for someone that is loving and is caring and has done nothing but serve 61 years of help, to just discard her like an animal," Kina Jones said.

How does 10-day-rule work?

The Jones family received word earlier this month that it had 10 days to find a new medical facility for Carolyn. That’s outlined in the law.

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