Alfie Evans’ parents are heading back to court today to restore his life support after he defied doctors expectations and has survived for 15 hours breathing on his own.
Evans has survived for more than 15 hours after the Children’s Hospital where he is located yanked his life support. Evans has defied predictions of doctors who claimed that he would die just minutes or hours after his life support was removed. Knowing that, Evans parents and their attorneys have arranged another court hearing before a judge seeking to restore this life support. They have been granted an emergency hearing before a high court judge after they said the 23-month-old boy had been breathing unassisted since his life support machine was switched off and that meeting is expected to take place in the coming hours.
Evans’ parents hope they may be able to remove Alfie from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, which yanked his life support over their objections. Alfie’s father Tom said doctors at Alder Hey have given Alfie oxygen and water but he fears Alfie may not survive long unless he is hooked back up to life support.
Evans said it became obvious he was breathing within a few minutes of life support being withdrawn, although doctors re-intervened after he asked them to help.
“They say Alfie’s suffering,” Evans said. “Well look at him now. He’s not even on a ventilator and he’s not suffering.”
Speaking outside Alder Hey hospital on Tuesday morning, Evans was asked what intervention doctors had made. “They left him for six hours without food, water and oxygen,” he said.
“I felt blessed when they confirmed they were going to give him his water and his oxygen. He’s now on oxygen. It’s not changing his breathing but it’s oxygenating his body.
“He is still working, he’s doing as good as he can. But we do need him to be supported … in the next hour it’s going to be hard but we will need him to be supported in the next hour or two.
“Because he’s been doing it for nine hours totally unexpected, the doctors are gobsmacked and I do believe he will need some form of life support in the next couple of hours and I think he ought to be respected and given that.”
Given his remarkable progress, Alfie should be allowed to travel to Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome, where doctors have agreed to keep giving him treatment, his dad has argued.
In a defiant post on Facebook, his mum Kate James wrote on Monday morning: “Alfie has been allowed oxygen and water! How amazing is he. No matter what happens he has already proved these doctors wrong.”
Alfie had been breathing unassisted for nine hours before oxygen was provided, Tom told reporters outside Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool on Tuesday morning.
Tom said doctors have been left “gobsmacked” by Alfie’s survival despite being taken off life support. Evans said it was obvious that the youngster was breathing unassisted “within a few minutes”.
The decision by the Children’s Hospital to remove Alfie Evans’ life support reportedly came after an emergency meeting between attorneys for Alfie’s parents, an Italian government representative, lawyers for the children’s hospital and the judge who allowed the hospital to proceed previously. As supporters of Alfie told LifeNews, Justice Hayden was unpersuaded by a late move from Italy to declare Alfie a citizen. He went ahead and allowed the Children’s Hospital to remove Alfie’s life support anyway.
Alfie’s father confirmed the removal of life support and oxygen in a video at 9:17 p.m. London time. “Alfie’s still here and fighting,” he said.
In the video, Alfie’s parents are shown in his room at this moment wondering if Alfie will pass away before he was given proper medical care and treatment and a chance to try experimental treatment to possibly deal with the adverse effects of the degenerative neurological condition he is facing.
Earlier in the day, Italy granted citizenship to Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old little boy whose hospital is threatening to revoke his life support without his parents’ consent.
Italy’s decision would have made it so Alfie’s parents could theoretically bring him to a hospital in Rome that has offered to provide appropriate medical care and treatment and to look at experimental treatments that could help his degenerative neurological condition. However, British courts have prevented Alfie’s parents from taking him there and a European Court of human rights has refused to intervene.
As ANSA reported:
Italy on Monday gave Italian citizenship to terminally ill British toddler Alfie Evans so that he can hopefully be “immediately” moved to Italy from Liverpool, where doctors are set to pull the plug on him, the foreign ministry said. “Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano and Interior Minister Marco Minniti have granted citizenship to little Alfie,” the ministry said.
“In this way the Italian government hopes that being an Italian citizen will enable the immediate transfer of the child to Italy”.
Alfie’s father Thomas Evans confirmed on a Facebook post that his son had received Italian citizenship.
“Alfie has been granted Italian citizenship, we await for the foreign minister to call Borris Johnson. Alfie belongs to Italy,” he wrote.
Pavel Strolilov of Christian Legal, who is representing Alfie’s parents, says the Italian ambassador has contacted the UK court on behalf of Alfie. According to Evans, the family’s attorneys will participate in a conference call with Justice Hayden, the Italian ambassador, and Alder Hey Children’s hospital officials to determine if Alfie can leave the country now that he is an Italian citizen. But it now appears the meeting was unsuccessful.
Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken on Alfie’s behalf and urged this afternoon that Alfie’s parents be allowed to bring him to Italy.
The move comes after the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene to save the 23-month-old boy from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, which is yanking his life support without his parents’ consent. The result of its decision allowed the children’s hospital to yank his life support without his parents’ consent.
After the decision, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the children’s hospital and some of them attempted to storm it to rescue Alfie.
Alfie suffers from a rare neurological condition that is destroying his body and doctors at the Children’s Hospital say his condition is too far gone and so they want to withdraw his life support which could kill him. His parents say they have a hospital in Rome, Italy ready to take him to provide appropriate medical care and treatment that the Children’s Hospital is denying and possible treatment that could overcome his neurological disorder. But the Children’s Hospital refuses to allow Alfie’s parents to take him to Italy.
After meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican, Alfie Evans’ father says the Vatican hospital is “ready to take Alfie immediately” and provide the care and treatment Alder Hey Children’s Hospital refuses to provide.
Tom Evans posted on the Alfie Army Facebook page to describe his time in Rome – where he met the Pope and the president of the Bambino Gesú hospital.
“The president of Bambino Gesú called me in for a meeting. She wants to take Alfie as soon as tomorrow and will do everything for him,” Evans explained. “Even if we find a diagnosis they will continue to search for a cure. She even wanted to come and meet him herself and still does. She was such a lovely woman and said they will do everything they can for Alfie as they would with any other.
“Pray hard this is Alfie’s step to his desperately needed transfer,” he said.
Evans also described what led to his trip to meet with Pope Francis.
He said: “Wow, what an emotionally exciting blessed 12 hours. I jumped on the plane at 11 last night [Tuesday] to Athens, got there for 4:50am, then took off at 6:05 to Rome to meet the Pope. Straight after interviews with various countries’ media – a lot of them. I spoke to the director of Vatican News, then was alerted the Pope had sent an urgent request to Bambino to take Alfie as soon as possible.”
Evans added: “Our child is sick, but not dying and does not deserve to die. He is not terminally ill nor diagnosed. We have been trying our best to find out his condition to treat or manage it.”
“I am now here in front of Your Holiness to plea for asylum, our hospitals in the UK do not want to give disabled children the chance of life and instead the hospitals in the UK are now assisting death in children. Alfie is not dying, so we do not want to take him out the way the hospital wish us to. We see life and potential in our son and we want to bring him here to Italy, at Bambino Gesú, where we know he is safe and he will not be euthanised.”