Bobbi Kristina Brown Not Dead, Hospice Professional Weighs in On End of Life Process

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Bobbi Kristina Brown has been in a hospice facility outside of Atlanta for about a month. On Wednesday rumors swirled that the only child of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown had passed away.

A report published earlier in the month stated that when Bobbi Kristina passed away, a tent would be erected at the back of the hospice facility to ensure privacy for the Brown and Houston families.

On Wednesday, a white tent was set up at the hospice, and a hearse was spotted backing in under it. That fueled the rumors that Bobbi Kristina Brown had passed away.

A source close to the Brown and Houston families told Entertainment Tonight--following Wednesday's erection of said tent--that Bobbi Kristina is "fine."

"She is strong," the source said.

An expert in hospice care explained on Thursday, however, that this doesn't mean a miracle is likely to save Bobbi Kristina.

Jon Radulovic isn't caring for Bobbi Kristina, but he is a spokesperson for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. He explained how the end of life process--the body's means of shutting down naturally--typically works.

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

He added that it's not unusual for patients--especially young people--to linger in a hospice facility for well over 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."

As to media reports that claim Bobbi Kristina Brown could linger in this hospice facility for years, Jon Radulovic says those reports are very 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."

Radulovic has worked in hospice care for 20 years. He says there's no chance of Bobbi Kristina coming out of the medical situation she's in, and that prayer vigils the family holds now are likely for a peaceful passing for their loved one.

"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."

Of all Bobbi Kristina Brown's family members, her grandmother Cissy Houston seems the most at peace with her granddaughter's passing.

"She's not gone yet, but you know, whatever the Lord decides, I'm ready for her... I have nothing to do with that. That's His job. It's His territory, you know? And I understand it," Cissy Houston said during an interview about eight weeks ago.

Cissy Houston is presently unable to travel to the Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia, but she talks to Bobbi Kristina every day. Daughter-in-law Pat Houston holds the phone up to the 22-year-old's ear so her grandmother can whisper words of peace and love.

Bobbi Kristina Brown isn't dead. She may last another month. She may pass away within hours. As Cissy Houston said, it's not up to anyone here on earth when that takes place.

Earlier reports have indicated that the Houston and Brown families will surely issue a statement when the time arrives.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.