Another British family is fighting for the life of their severely ill son after they say King’s College Hospital failed to act quickly enough to provide care for him.
Baby Isaiah Haastrup suffered brain damage while his mother experienced labor complications in February at the British hospital, according to Southwark News.
His parents, Lanre Haastrup and Takesha Thomas, said doctors have been pressuring them to remove their son’s ventilator and switch to palliative care. The parents said they do not trust the hospital, and they take 4 to 5 hour shifts watching Isaiah every day.
“It’s like the Charlie Gard case. They want to end my son’s life,” Thomas said.
British infant Charlie Gard had a rare disease and brain damage, and his parents raised more than $1.5 million to take him to the United States for an experimental treatment. However, the hospital and courts refused to allow him to be transferred to another hospital for the treatment.
Charlie Gard died on July 28 after his life support was removed, following a lengthy court battle between his parents and hospital. He would have turned 1 year old on Aug. 4.
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Here’s more about Isaiah’s case:
Mum Takesha, from Peckham, said she “almost died” during the incident, and lost nearly half of her blood, leaving her in a coma for several days. “I could feel the baby shaking inside of me. He was inhaling blood,” the 36-year-old said.
The incident has left five-month-old Isaiah with a weak and inconsistent “respiratory drive”; this means that although his body and organs are growing naturally, his brain lacks the instinct to breathe independently for prolonged periods of time.
A Serious Incident Report from King’s, published on July 28, found there was a delay in identifying that the baby’s heartrate had dropped significantly for approximately 27 minutes, before a doctor was summoned and an emergency caesarean was ordered. The report said “ten or more minutes” could have been saved, which would not have resulted in the delivery of a perfectly healthy baby, but would likely have reduced the severity of the neurological damage.
Now, the hospital says nothing more can be done to save the boy’s life.
“From every meeting we’ve had with them they have always tried to steer us towards palliative care,” Taylor said. “We are determined to do everything possible for our child, and they’re telling us ‘no we can’t’. It’s felt like they have been trying to pressure us to accept that Isaiah should die. It’s up to us to look after him for the rest of his life. They are telling us to have him die.”
Isaiah’s parents said they decided to share their story with the press after learning that the hospital notified the court of the disagreement about Isaiah’s care.
The May 25 notice reads, “Application for inherent jurisdiction order in relation to children … [made for] Decleration [sic] that limitation or withdrawn [sic] of treatment is in Isaiah’s best interest.”
The hospital also refused their request to transfer their son to another hospital, according to the report.
Haastrup, a lawyer, said they do not think it is in their son’s “best interests” to remove his ventilator and let him die. The parents said they believe there are treatments that the hospital has not tried yet that could help their son.
Here’s more from the report:
Should any High Court hearing go ahead, the embattled mum and dad believe their core argument for continuing Isaiah’s treatment will be that King’s has not tried all the options to “encourage” his respiratory drive, which Lanre says is “inconsistent” but not non-existent. And that Isaiah’s doctors should reduce the “cocktail” of sedative drugs, which are making him “completely dependent” on a ventilator to breathe.
He continued: “My son has been cheated out of his life. It’s done untold hardship on us. We have suffered in the last months, and now we have to ask them to keep him alive.”
A hospital spokesperson said they want to work with the family to further Isaiah’s best interests, but the spokesperson also said the infant is “fully dependent” on life support.
Attention to these difficult cases has increased since the tragic story of Charlie Gard became an international subject this summer. Charlie Gard’s parents wanted him to undergo an experimental treatment, but his hospital said the infant would not benefit from the treatment and petitioned the court to remove his life support.
The chance of the experimental treatment working was slim, but his parents wanted to give him the chance anyway. U.S. neurologist Dr. Michio Hirano, an expert in the field, previously said Charlie had an 11 percent to 56 percent chance of benefiting from the experimental treatment. However, when Hirano and a group of doctors examined Charlie in late July, they said he no longer had a chance of benefiting from the treatment.
After Hirano gave his final opinion, Charlie’s parents decided to end the legal battle to get their son experimental treatment. Based on the new evidence, the couple said Charlie’s condition had deteriorated too much and there no longer was any hope of the experimental treatment working.
Questions remain about whether Charlie could have benefited from the experimental treatment, had it not been delayed for months during the legal battle. The court battle began in March.