Family fights hospital to keep son alive: Kesell 'Queso' Macias won't be removed from life support

Hospital postpones plan to end life support

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Family members told 10News Friday that a young man in a coma at a Chula Vista hospital will not be taken off life support next week.

Doctors at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista originally planned to disconnect the machines keeping Kesell "Queso" Macias alive next Monday, sometime after 8 p.m.

However, Betsy Macias, Queso's sister, said the hospital reversed course, but no new date has been set. She told 10News that doctors are not treating her brother's infection.

10News learned the family may announce what kind of legal action they will take this weekend.

"That's my son, so any life we have, that's something for me," Macia's mother, Rebeca Lara de Macias, told 10News on Thursday. "I don't know what to do. I have my hands full."

Family members said even though Queso has been in a coma for nearly two months, he is showing signs of life.

In video they showed 10News, Queso appears to respond to commands to blink.

10News shared the video with San Diego bioethics expert Joy L. Delman, who has been studying cases like this one for more than 30 years. She has taught bioethics at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law for many years.

While watching the video, Delman told 10News, "I don't see any indication that he's responding to their commands."

Queso, 22, wound up in the hospital after a weight-loss surgery in Tijuana left him with a deadly infection that led to a heart attack.

"They told us that he had a lot of brain damage, but that they couldn't declare him brain dead," said Betsy Macias.

His family is holding onto their strong Catholic faith, and they are hoping for a miracle this Easter.

However, Queso's doctor was blunt in his assessment.

"He's like, 'There won't be any miracle here.' And I asked him, 'How do you know? You can't say that.' He said, 'Oh, I know there won't be a miracle here,'" said Betsy Macias.

Although the Macias family claims the hospital said they would have a say in whether to end life-saving measures, in the end, they believe Queso's doctor decided to remove him from life support because he does not have health insurance.

"It's about money," said de Macias.

Delman said the doctors, if they so choose, can end Macias' treatment whenever they see fit, adding the family could try and have Macias moved to a different facility or take their fight to a judge and try and get an injunction to keep him on life support.

The family told 10News Thursday night that their attorney is in the process of trying to get that injunction.

Delman told 10News, "It's unlikely that they would get a judge to require the hospital to continue futile medical treatment."

Family members are now protesting the life-or-death decision they say they were left out of. They remain hopeful that a miracle will save Queso's life.

Due to privacy issues, Scripps Mercy Hospital cannot talk about Queso's case, but they said their hearts and prayers are with the Macias family.

The family says they need more time so that Queso's Medi-Cal can go through so he can be transferred to another facility.

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