SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) — The teen at the center of a debate over when a person is officially declared dead has died.

The girl’s mother Nailah Winkfield said Thursday that New Jersey doctors declared Jahi McMath dead from excessive bleeding and liver failure after an operation to treat an intestinal issue.

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Jahi is from Oakland, but family moved her to New Jersey because it’s the only state to accommodate religions that don’t recognize brain death.

McMath was declared brain dead after a surgery to remove her tonsils in December 2013. Doctors said the surgery would help with Jahi’s sleep apnea, but there were complications during her recovery.

Winkfield refused to accept the conclusion and moved the girl to New Jersey, where she has been kept on life support and received care. The state accommodates religions that don’t recognize brain death.

A judge ordered her kept on life support the following week. Days later though, another judge ruled the child should be taken off of life support, but gave the family time to appeal. The following month, she was moved out of the hospital.

The McMath family posted a video years later of Jahi holding onto a tool then releasing it. They say it is proof, their child wasn’t brain dead.

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Jahi’s mom and dad gave an interview to the Terri Schiavo Foundation over the years insisting their daughter was improving.

As recently as last September, a judge ruled she may still be technically alive.

Winkfield acknowledged her daughter’s dire medical condition but said her Christian beliefs compelled her to fight for care because the girl occasionally showed physical signs of life by twitching her finger or wriggling her toe.

“Jahi is doing so much better physically,”  Winkfield said.

But health care professionals say once someone is declared brain dead it is a death sentence.

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“There’s no evidence that patients who are brain dead can recover,” David Magnus with the Center for Biomedical Ethics. “There’s no recovery from death.”

You may remember a similar case, Baby Israel Stinton from Vacaville.

He suffered traumatic brain injuries following an asthma attack in 2016.

Doctors declared him brain dead, but still his family fought to keep him on life support and cases like Jahi’s giving them hope.

“He’s alive, he’s definitely still alive,” said his mother Jonee Fonseca.

Israel’s family lost in court. A judge ordered he be taken off the ventilator.

The attorney for Israel says her firm is suing the state, but it could be years before there’s a resolution.