OAKLAND (CBS) – Doctors are saying Jahi McMath’s brain showed signs of improvement after being declared brain dead.

The Oakland teen was declared brain dead back in 2013. But according to doctors at Harvard Medical School in a new report, McMath continued to grow, digest food and fight off infections.

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Doctors say there were clinical signs she incrementally improved over the five-year span, crossing the line between brain dead and a “minimally conscious state.”

McMath’s case drew national attention when her family refused to accept the conclusion of doctors who declared the girl dead in December 2013, when she was 13, after suffering irreversible brain damage during routine surgery in California to remove her tonsils.

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Several specialists concurred after neurological tests, and a coroner signed a death certificate.

McMath’s mother, however, said her Christian beliefs compelled her to fight for continued care for her daughter, who she said showed signs of life through toe wriggles and finger movements.

After a court battle with the hospital, McMath’s mother had her flown to New Jersey, where she remained on life support and received care in the state that accommodates religions that don’t recognize brain death.

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Last week, McMath’s mother announced that Jahi had passed away.