The parents of Charlie Gard are offering their support and hope for the parents of Alfie Evans today after his death on Saturday. Charlie Gard faced a similar style death after courts and doctors refused to help him — and his parents were also unable to get courts to approve the request to keep his life support in place and to transfer him to provide appropriate medical care and treatment.
Alfie Evans is not the first little boy to be held hostage by the court system and the healthcare system. There have been many other cases where courts and doctors have made the life or death decisions for a patient over the objections of their family.
One of those cases involved a little boy named Charlie Gard. In essentially the exact same circumstance, the British courts decided that his parents did not have the right to make the decision whether his life support was disconnected and a hospital yanked his life support without their consent. Charlie ultimately died not long after that happened. Chris Gard and Connie Yates’ little boy passed away just before 1st birthday in July 2017.
Before Alfie’s death, Charlie’s parents offered their support and prayer for Alfie and his family. At the time, they said it is impossible for other people to really understand the pain that these parents are going through knowing that the future of their son is mostly out of their hands.
Now that Alfie has died, they are back with hope and support for Alfie’s parents Tom and Kate:
Charlie Gard’s parents have offered support and hope for Alfie Evans’ family, saying ‘you both did what you thought was right for your son’.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, whose son Charlie died last July after suffering from a rare genetic condition, said they had watched Alfie’s case unfold with ‘heavy hearts’.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, they said: ‘Life will seem not worth living at the moment but you will smile again. You both did what you thought was right for your son, out of love.
‘Your lives will never be the same again. But because of what you’ve been through together, your love for one another will be strengthened.’
They added: ‘Tom and Kate, like us, were not celebrities seeking fame. They were just ordinary people who because of the situation they found themselves in, were catapulted into the limelight.’
Charlie’s parents are supporting a new effort for a law in Britain that would give parents more say in situations like Charlie’s and Aflie’s as opposed to courts and government-run health care.
Their support for Tom and Kate came as they launched their campaign for Charlie’s Law, a Bill which they hope will give families more rights over what happens to their sick children.
In a statement on Facebook, Connie explained: ‘With heavy hearts, we have watched as Alfie’s case has unfolded. For those who have not been in a situation like this, it is impossible to understand the pain Tom and Kate are going through.
‘When we were fighting for our son, Charlie Gard to be given a chance to try a treatment that could have improved his quality of life, we realised that cases like these would keep happening until the law was changed. Tragically, this has proven to be true.
‘Since Charlie’s passing in July last year, we have been working with paediatric consultants, medical ethicists, senior lawyers, UK politicians and other parents who have suffered through similar situations as us, to try and propose a law that will prevent parents experiencing painful and prolonged conflicts with medical professionals.
‘This involves addressing problems around the ‘best interests’ tests as well as creating a platform for transparency and openness so that cases like these can be dealt with before they ever reach the courts.’
Alfie Evans ended up dying very early Saturday morning after the children’s hospital that was supposed to provide him with appropriate medical care and treatment disconnected his life support without his parents’ permission. That action came after a long and extensive legal battle between Alfie’s parents and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, with the British court system agreeing with doctors by saying that Alfie was supposedly too far gone for additional care and treatment or experimental medical treatment to possibly help his neurological condition.
Alfie’s father Tom Evans spent the last 10 minutes of the 23-month-old little boys life desperately trying to revive him with mouth to mouth.
Meanwhile, Alfie’s mother Kate has posted a poem remembering Alfie that has already been shared thousands of times on Facebook.
In posts on Facebook, Alfie’s mother and father confirmed his passing.
“Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 am. We are heart broken. Thank you everyone for all your support,” she wrote.
“My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30 absolutely heartbroken,” the boy’s father Tom Evans wrote on Facebook.
Family friend Laura McKenzie said: “Tom and Kate really appreciate everyone coming and showing their love.
“The whole world showed how much Alfie was loved and we’ll never, ever, ever forget him or his name. No one will.”
After his death, family and supporters of Alfie Evans celebrated his life in pictures and hundreds of tearful supporters of Alfie Evans and his family gathered at a park near Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to release balloons to honor the little boy after his death. And Pope Francis expressed the kind of sentiments that people around the world are expressing. He talked about his sadness and he talked about Alfie being embraced by the Lord in heaven.
“I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace,” the pope tweeted on Saturday.
The legal battle sparked anger nationwide in England but also internationally as people stood up for Alfie’s parents and strongly opposed courts and hospitals making life and death decisions for patients over their families objections.
There is concern that the hospital contributed to his death.
As LifeNews reported, after removing his life support without permission, officials at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital waited 28 hours before finally feeding the 23-month old boy, who was fighting a rare neurological condition. Alfie’s Father Tom Evans confirmed at the time that his son was finally being fed but he condemned hospital officials for waiting so long to finally get him the nutrition he needs.
“They only started feeding him at one ‘o’clock yesterday. It’s disgusting how he’s being treated,” Evans said. “Not even an animal would be treated like this. He’s proving them wrong. It’s time to give him some grace and dignity and let him go home or to Italy.”
The other day, Alfie’s parents changed course and decided to end their battle.
Alfie Evans’ father Tom Evans called for supporters of Alfie and his family to “stand down” so they can begin “building a bridge” with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and its staff. The statement from Alfie’s father was surprising given the animosity that had developed between the Evans family and the hospital. Hospital officials have spent months in court preventing Alfie’s family from taking him to a hospital in Italy or even taking him home. Hospital officials even went as far as misleading courts by saying that they never said Alfie would die quickly after his life support was removed — even though they initially said Alfie would die within minutes after yanking his life support over his parents’ objections.
But perhaps seeing that there was little opportunity left to fight for Alfie’s rights and their right to take him abroad or take him home or sensing a need to appease the hospital to bring him home, Tom Evans struck a conciliatory tone.
Later, the family of Alfie Evans blasted a false news report saying his parents are supposedly preparing for his death.
Alfie’s parents had hoped to take the little boy to the hospital in order to potentially get experiemental treatment that could help his rare degenerative neurological condition but courts 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.
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 had. 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 repeatedly spoken on Alfie’s behalf and urged that Alfie’s parents be allowed to bring him to Italy.
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.”