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Parents of Va. 2 year-old on life support fight to bring her home

The parents of a two-year old girl on life support at VCU Medical Center for nearly two months are now asking that the hospital allow them to take her home for continued care and treatment, the latest development in a protracted legal battle over the girl’s care.

RICHMOND, Va. (WUSA9) -- The parents of a two-year old girl on life support at VCU Medical Center for nearly two months are now asking that the hospital allow them to take her home for continued care and treatment, the latest development in a protracted legal battle over the girl’s care.

Mirranda Grace Lawson choked on a popcorn kernel on May 11th at her home in Woodbridge. Doctors at VCU Medical Center stabilized her, but an initial test indicated she might have suffered permanent brain damage. When doctors attempted a second test to confirm whether Lawson was permanently brain dead, the family protested, saying it would cause further damage.

Lawson’s father, Patrick Lawson, also believed the hospital might use a failed test as means to move Mirranda Grace off life support, something he could not accept.

Lawson, along with attorney Philip Menke of Manassas, eventually obtained a temporary order delaying the test, and have run a series of delaying actions in the courts to give Mirranda time, they hope, to recover. Already they say she requires less medication, and has seen improvements in blood pressure and other vital signs when her mother reads scripture, or when she hears Elvis, her favorite artist.

Mirranda’s family, now backed by the Life Legal Defense Foundation, and a $30,000 bond taken out by Lawson, will now have their day in front of the Virginia Supreme Court, who will ultimately determine whether a test can be ordered.

“I’m not rich. I can’t hold them off forever, Lawson told WUSA9 on Thursday. “Eventually they’re going to take everything I got. I just hope they don’t take my daughter’s life.”

Now the Lawson’s are asking for the hospital to give Mirranda appropriate feeding and breathing tubes so that they can take her home, or to a long term care facility.

A representative of the hospital declined WUSA9’s interview request, but in a statement acknowledged the “difficult situation” all parties now find themselves in.

“In the nearly two months Mirranda Lawson has been in the VCU Medical Center pediatric critical care unit, her expert and compassionate medical team has provided around-the- clock, highly-specialized critical care that cannot be given in a home setting,” a hospital spokesperson wrote. “Other agencies and hospitals have reviewed her case and are either not able to support her intensive care needs or they indicated they would not do anything different than what is already being done.”

Supported by the Ronald McDonald House, prayers from around the world, and Lawson’s dwindling insurance and savings, the family has established a GoFundMe page to help fund her care, including a nurse who would be needed for as many as 12 hours a day.

“I have the lord on my side, he keeps telling me to fight,” Lawson said Thursday. “Mirranda keeps getting better. If she’s fighting, how can I give up?”