ROSEVILLE – Doctors declared a 2-year-old Vacaville toddler brain-dead and a judge gave the parents one week to prove there’s still hope for their son.

“How would you feel if someone said, ‘Your son is dead, we’re not doing anything for him,'” said Israel’s mother Jonee Fonseca.

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Israel Stinson was healthy and happy one minute and hooked up to a ventilator the next. His mother said he suffered a minor asthma attack. She took him to UC Davis Medical Center and it was there he stopped breathing and doctors determined he was brain-dead.


“When people ask what happened, I can’t even tell them,” Fonseca said.

Israel’s parents said he didn’t get oxygen for 40 minutes, causing severe brain injuries. They transferred him to Kaiser Permanente in Roseville where doctors came to the same conclusion.

“Clearly something went wrong somewhere and we don’t know what that is yet,” said Alexandra Snyder, the Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation.

Snyder said this family deserves to get answers and time to decide what’s right.

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“We’re going to keep fighting till we can’t fight anymore because I know my son still has life in him,” said his father Nathaniel Stinson.

Doctors with Kaiser said they did all they could. We asked them what happened, but the family wouldn’t let doctors talk specifically about their son.

“We use the standards that are widely accepted by the medical community for determining brain death and this patient has sustained irreversible brain death,” said Dr. Angelica Ha a pediatrician.

She said the staff is dedicated to saving lives, but they couldn’t save Israel. An answer this family said they won’t accept.

“You will find the strength. When it’s your child you will find the strength,” Fonseca said.

The same attorneys fighting for Israel fought for Jahi McMath and her family.

The Oakland girl was 13-years-old when she was declared dead at Children’s Hospital of Oakland in 2013. The family moved her to a facility in New Jersey where state law allows her to stay on life support.

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Family is suing to void Jahi’s death certificate so she can return to California. They recently released a picture of Jahi that shows, physically, improvement.