Baby Hermella's parents get free lawyers in life support fight

Lawyer Brendan Miller says he and Lynsey Mincher have offered their legal services for free to a Lethbridge couple who are fighting to keep their baby, Hermella, on life support.

Lethbridge judge will hear injunction application next month

Eight-month-old Hermella Mammo is in the Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary while her parents seek a court injunction to prevent doctors from taking her off life support. (Family photo)

Two Calgary lawyers have joined the fight to keep a Lethbridge baby on life support. 

Brendan Miller says he and Lynsey Mincher have offered their services to Will Mammo and Anna Motsyk pro bono.

"I think they're relieved," said Miller.

The couple's eight-month-old baby, Hermella, was diagnosed at the age of two months with a rare form of cancer, which was successfully treated in Toronto.

After the surgery, she reportedly contracted a virus that left her brain dead but her parents say Hermella responds to light, touch, voices and music.

Doctors told the parents Hermella would be taken off life support on Thursday but the couple filed an injunction application in an attempt to stop that.

On Monday, the couple begged a judge to order hospital staff to keep Hermella on life support while they sought a second opinion. A Court of Queen's bench judge adjourned that application so they could find a lawyer.

When Justice John Rooke asked why they didn't have one already, Mammo said they couldn't afford one.

Several lawyers reportedly stepped forward to offer their help free of cost to the couple.

Miller says he believes he and Mincher were selected because of their areas of practice.

"This is something that I've done with a mix of child protection and constitutional law so it made sense to step forward and help these people," said Miller.

The matter returns before Rooke on Jan. 4 when the injunction application will be heard and most likely, decided on.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.