Mom fights to save life of son on breathing machine

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A local mother filed a lawsuit in an effort to save her son's life.

Chris Dunn, 46, is on a breathing machine now at Houston Methodist Hospital, receiving life-sustaining treatment. Doctors there think it is best to stop that treatment, but his mother, Evelyn Kelly, is fighting for his life.

Dunn has been in the hospital for 8 weeks because of a mass on his pancreas. His major organs are deteriorating and the hospital wants to stop life-sustaining treatment.

"It's a mother's nightmare because they want to come in and they want to turn his life support off and administer some kind of drug," Kelly said. "I don't even know what it is."

Kelly contacted Texas Right to Life and Attorney Joe Nixon for help.

"There's a statute in Texas that allows hospitals to form a nameless, faceless committee and make a decision that they want to terminate life-sustaining care," Nixon said.

Kelly shot cell phone video on December 2 inside her son's hospital room. In the video, Nixon asks Chris is he wants to live.

"Do you want to stay alive?" Nixon asks.

Chris cannot speak because of a breathing tube, but he nods his head and folds his hands in prayer.

Houston Methodist Hospital Spokesman George Kovacik sent Eyewitness News the following statement in regards to Dunn's situation:

"We want to express our deepest sympathies and offer our prayers to the family during this difficult time. Out of respect for the family and because of patient privacy laws, we cannot discuss the particulars of the case. We are providing the best possible care to the patient and we continue to care for him. We are working with the courts to get guidance on who has legal guardianship of the patient. The patient's family disagrees on the appropriate end-of-life care for this patient. We feel strongly that every decision we have made is in the best interest of the patient, and the Houston Methodist staff works hard and compassionately every day to help families who are facing difficult end-of-life issues.

"Houston Methodist is a faith-based, values-centered organization that strives to make the best choices for all our patients. We will continue assisting the family through this painful process."

Kelly said her son served as a sheriff's deputy as well as a Homeland Security officer in the past, but he was uninsured when he got sick.

"This is about people trying to play God," Kelly said, "and nobody has that right but the Lord."

Kelly's attorneys are in a legal battle with Houston Methodist. Dunn is still receiving life-sustaining treatment for now.
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