Family Says Bobbi Kristina Brown is 'Strong,' But Miracle Unlikely as Reports Swirl Around Hospice

by Emily Krauser 12:41 PM PDT, July 16, 2015
Playing Family Says Bobbi Kristina Brown is 'Strong,' But Miracle Unlikely as Reports Swirl Around Hospice

After a tent was erected outside of the Atlanta-area hospice currently treating Bobbi Kristina Brown, reports swirled that the ailing daughter of Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston may have died on Wednesday.

Photo: Splash News

Despite the media circus, which included helicopters flying overhead Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia, a source close to the family told ET that as of Wednesday night, Brown was still alive. "She is fine," the source said. "She is strong."

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ET previously reported that a tent would be put up at the facility's back door when the 22-year-old died, so when one was spotted on Wednesday, speculation increased. A police-escorted hearse that left the facility only added to the confusion.

But Brown's "strong" appearance is almost certainly not going to lead to a miraculous recovery, one hospice expert told ETonline on Thursday. Jon Radulovic, a spokesperson for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, explained that the transition from life to death isn't always as dramatic as the sudden shift often seen in movies.

"Hospice professionals are able to pick up on some signs others can't see," Radulovic said. "Imminent death might not look that different from what you would see right now. That can be hard for families -- very difficult."

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Hospice is considered a peaceful process leading to natural death, and a patient is usually in such a facility for days or weeks. Brown entered Peachtree in mid-June, but Radulovic, who has not been involved personally in treating Brown, said it's not unusual for patients to live for weeks or even more than a month.

"Even if she had been involved in drugs, she was still a young woman," Radulovic said. "It's an inexact science, but especially for someone who's had more of a traumatic injury than a long debilitating illness, a lot of the functions of the body might still be in very good shape, and it might take longer for the body to naturally shut down."

"In a person who may be brain dead, it does not take much for your body to hang on," he added. "You're not moving or exerting any energy. The body's slowly shutting down, but it can do that for a long time."

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Some media have reported that Brown could be at Peachtree for years, but Raduolvic said that was misleading. "The hope becomes about a peaceful transition for her and that somehow the family might be able to find a path for healing," he explains. "That isn't something that can happen overnight or immediately."

While the family is continuing to hold a vigil of hope and prayers, after working on behalf of hospice for over 20 years, Radulovic said there's almost no chance for a miracle recovery after such a severe injury, especially one that resulted in a hospice care decision. "I have never heard of a patient coming out of that situation," he says. "Given that the family spent time in cure or rehabilitation mode, it would lead me to believe that would not happen."

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Sources told ET that when Brown died, a funeral service will be held in Atlanta, where she grew up, but she would be laid to rest next to her mother in New Jersey.

In May, Bobbi Kristina's grandmother and Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, sat down with ET to thank everyone for their prayers. Even then, Cissy admitted that Bobbi Kristina was "not progressing at all":