Christian Parents Battle Courts Over Toddler On Life Support After Choking On Popcorn


As parents, we most certainly hope to never have to make the awful decision as to whether or not we take our children off of life support. The only thing worse would be being embroiled in a legal battle over whether or not it was ethical.

That’s exactly what father Patrick Lawson’s being faced with as his daughter, Mirranda Grace Lawson, remains on life support following an incident whereas she choked on a popcorn kernel. Doctors in Virginia simply don’t believe she’ll survive and they want to perform brain test to prove this. The hospital is claiming that the tests are harmless. But Patrick and his wife are refusing to comply saying they believe the test will be harmful. They believe that she will wake up on her own.

“We feel that God has told us that it’s his will that she is going to awaken,” Patrick Lawson told Yahoo!. “She has something to do in this world.”


On May 11th, Mirranda, apparently being a curious and vibrant toddler she was known to be, got into a bag of popcorn. A kernel obstructed her breathing, causing her to choke. This led to cardiac arrest. Patrick performed CPR, but Mirranda was not responsive. Mirranda was declared “likely brain dead.”

The Lawson’s wrote letters to the doctors expressing that their Christian faith was against any suggested medical procedures. IN particular, the Lawson’s take issue with removing the toddler from life support, which would be a prerequisite for the tests in question. A Virginia court actually ruled against the family, however, the family was able to pay a $30,000 bond to stall the procedures while an appeal is filed. The Virginia health system, however, remains vigilant that the court allow the hospital to proceed.

“Having one of the PICU beds and all the human resources that entails, occupied by Mirranda, who has likely been dead for weeks, jeopardizes the care of critically ill children that VCU Health System is being forced to turn away,” a health system attorney wrote via Yahoo!.