Family of Payton Summons expresses gratitude to supporters

The family of a 9-year-old girl caught in the middle of a life-support dispute thanked a Dallas church Sunday morning for its prayers and support during a difficult time.

The senior pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church offered a prayer for Payton Summons and her entire family.

Payton passed away Friday evening at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth when her heart gave out. She died just hours after an appeals court ruled the hospital could not remove her from life support at least until Monday.

Family attorney Justin Moore, who is a member of the congregation says the family's been uplifted by the outpouring of support from people across the county and around the world.

"We've had a host of well-wishers from folks locally, nationally and internationally, so we want to express our gratitude to them as well. I think this was a community effort us fighting against issues that seemed to be bigger than what these parents initially thought it would be, so we just want to express gratitude continually,” said Moore.

"I would just like to say ‘thank you’ to the community for your support and for all of your well wishes,” said Payton’s grandmother Marilyn Summons. “We still need prayers and we just want to thank you for everything that you've done."

Three-weeks ago, Cook Children’s declared Payton brain dead shortly after she arrived at the hospital in cardiac arrest due to complications from a tumor in her chest.

The family had received two court-ordered extensions for life support while they searched for other medical options. More than 40 facilities denied their request for continued care.

Family members scheduled a vigil for Sunday night, at the McFalls softball fields in Grand Prairie where she used to play, asking people to wear purple in Payton's memory. They are still finalizing funeral services.