As the parents of Alfie Evans await a meeting today with hospital staff to find out if they would be able to bring him home, a prominent doctor who has studied Alfie says he is not dying and is not brain-dead and says the hospital needs to quit holding him as if he were in a prison.
Alfie supposedly has a degenerative neurological condition but that diagnosis is being challenged now that Alfie is breathing on his own without life support.
Alfie Evans’ parents will meet with staff from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital today to request permission to take Alfie home. His father Tom Evans says he would not try to take Alfie to Italy if allowed to bring Alfie home, but that he would have doctors and support staff help Alfie from their home. Alfie has survived for a third day after hospital doctors removed his life support without their permission.
Dr Izabela Pałgan, a paediatrician and children’s oncologist from Bydgoszcz in Poland, claims to have diagnosed the 23-month-old toddler on his parent’s request.
She said: “The doctors at the hospital in Liverpool have approached the High Court for permission to unplug the child from his life support machinery, claiming it will be in his best interests.
“But the child is not a dying child. On the Paediatric Glasgow Coma Scale the child ranks at about eight to nine points, so this is not a case of brain death.
“The child reacts to his father’s voice and periodically opens his eyes. Periodically the boy also clenches his mouth when given a dummy, therefore he shows reactions.
“The parents have absolutely stated the child communicates with them when they speak to him – they feel the child somehow feels their emotions and can emotionally connect with them.
“Certainly this is not a dying child. In Poland and I think in other European countries as well, children like this are simply taken care of with palliative care or home care.”
According to Dr Pałgan, the expert was called in to review Alfie’s case after family supporters sought out medical experts who could give a second opinion on Alfie’s conditions.
Alfie’s father Tom Evans agrees his son has been misdiagnosed.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Alfie’s father Tom said: “For the third day now, there’s been not one single problem with him. The nurses come in and said ‘wow.’”
“Today, we’re going to have a meeting with the doctors at Alder Hey and we’ll now start asking to go home. Alfie doesn’t need intensive care anymore.”
In the new interview, Evans said, “Alfie does not need intensive care – Alfie is lying on the bed with one litre of oxygen going to his lungs and the rest is him. Some people say it’s a miracle – it’s not a miracle its a misdiagnosis.”
Evans ruled out further legal battles to attempt to take Alfie to Italy to take him to a pediatric hospital that has offered to provide appropriate medical care and treatment for him. Alfie’s parents had hoped to take the little boy to the hospital in order to potentially get treatment that could help his rare degenerative neurological condition but courts have repeatedly denied that. Justice Hayden ruled that Alfie’s family would not be able to fly him to Italy for treatment and appeared to say that this was the final decision related to his case. He said flying Alfie to Italy could harm his health because, as court testimony indicated, the flight could trigger possible “continuous seizures due to stimulations” of the flight. But Alfie’s parents are concerned Alfie will die if he doesn’t get care and possible experimental treatment in Italy.
Evans said: “We got rejected yesterday to go to Italy unfortunately. We could take it further but would that be the right thing to do, would there be more criticism?”
The decision denying travel to Italy came despite doctors representing Alder Hey Children’s Hospital misleading the court with claims it never said Alfie would die soon after it removed his life support without his parents’ permission. And officials at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital kicked out two paramedics from the air ambulance and made them leave the premises after they were talking with Alfie’s parents. This is the latest example of the hospital’s lack of care and concern for the 23-month old boy who is dealing with a rare neurological condition.
Evans indicated that Alfie is not in any pain and hardly taking any drugs — and he disputed the claim that Alfie should not be able to travel to Italy because of potential seizures, saying that Alfie has not having any seizures and is not on any anti-seizure medication because there was no problem at this time.
Previously, Evans indicated he was very concerned about Alfie’s lack of food — saying then that it has been almost 24 hours since he has had anything to eat and he is just receiving water and fluids. He was worried that hospital staff are attempting to starve Alfie to death in an attempt to prove their contention that Alfie was going to die very quickly after his removal from life support. Eventually, Alfie received food.
Previously, the judge in the controversial legal battle over the life and death of Alfie Evans told the little boy’s parents that they are not able to take him home, for now. Essentially Justice Hayden considered Alfie’s parents a flight risk and worried they would leave the country with the 23-month old boy in tow. After a decision by Italy, Alfie now has Italian citizenship which should qualify him for being able to leave the country, but courts ruled otherwise.
A British doctors group, The Medical Ethics Alliance, expressed its horror over the treatment of Alfie Evans that it called a “medical tyranny.”
And Italy’s Healthcare Chief has slammed the decisions by UK courts to treat Alfie the way that they have. The President of the Italian National Institute of Health lambasted the UK High Court’s decision yesterday on Alfie Evans’ that resulted it the children’s hospital being allowed to remove life support over Alfie’s parents’ objections.
Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken on Alfie’s behalf and urged that Alfie’s parents be allowed to bring him to Italy.
American supporters of Alfie Evans who have been wondering what they can do now have an opportunity to show their support publicly. Supporters of Alfie and his family will be gathering in Washington DC on Thursday at the British Embassy to hold a prayer vigil on their behalf.
Members of Parliament are leading a new campaign for a law to prevent the tragic situation happening to Alfie Evans and his parents from happening to any other family. The new campaign calls on MPs to debate the matter in the House of Commons – with potential plans for “Alfie’s Law.”