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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The parents of a sick British infant are appealing the High Court's decision to the Appeals Court despite the fact the judge ruled U.K. doctors could discharge him to his home.
High Court Lord Justice Anthony Hayden rejected on Tuesday the plea of Alfie Evan's family to transport him to Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome for future treatment, saying it is "the final chapter in the case of this extraordinary little boy." But Hayden allowed for British doctors to consider letting the boy go home.
Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old child with a rare degenerative neurological condition, was taken off his ventilator on Monday at 9:17 GMT. Since then, Alfie has continued to breathe on his own with oxygen and water for more than 36 hours, as of press time.
Alfie's father, Tom Evans, confirmed that his son is more comfortable following the removal of his breathing and feeding tubes: "He's comfortable, content, fighting — the three words I've used all the way through this case. He's more comfortable now he's got no tube, and he's breathing for himself."
Evans believes the ventilator was "suppressing the breathing with the drugs. We have Alfie stable and ready to go. No sign of deterioration, no sig[n] of oxygen loss. No sign of suffocation or anything like that."
Alfie's father accepted Hayden's verdict before a British Appeals Court officer contacted his lawyer, Paul Diamond of the Christian Legal Centre's Standing Counsel, that three judges were available in the case the family wanted to again appeal the High Court's decision.
"We believe this could be a dramatic change or twist in the case. We hope it is," Evans told British television program "This Morning."
"These courts have got to see that Justice Hayden is wrong and so are the doctors, " Alphie's father pleaded.
The appeal is currently underway in the Appeals Court with Sir Andrew McFarlane, incoming president of the Family Division of the High Court, along with two Court of Appeal judges, including Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lord Justice Peter Coulson. McFarlane said the appeal is an "important matter."
Diamond told the court an Italian military air ambulance is on standby in case Alfie can be transported to Rome at the behest of Pope Francis.
Barrister for #AlfieEvans Tom Evans tells court Italian military air ambulance is on standby at the request of the Pope— Dan Whitehead (@danwnews) April 25, 2018
This comes as Tom Evans is seeking to privately prosecute three doctors from Alder Hey in Liverpool, England, for allegedly conspiring to murder Alfie. Both of Alfie's parents are not at the hearing but are listening via phone.
Alder Hey has been in trouble in the past, including a public inquiry into the retention of patients' organs without family consent between 1988–1995. During this time, organs were removed, retained and disposed of in more than 2,000 burial plots containing body parts from around 850 infants.
That prompted passage of the Human Tissue Act 2004 that lifted current laws regarding the handling of human tissues in the United Kingdom and created the Human Tissue Authority.
The hospital also failed to meet four of five national standards checks in 2013, including a broken emergency alarm system, potential safety violations, lack of sufficient equipment to monitor patients and poor maintenance checks. Alder Hey also suffered from "sufficient qualified, skilled and experienced staff."
Church Militant reported Tuesday that Hayden is a pro-gay advocate and member of the Bar Lesbian and Gay Group (BLAGG), a network of gay lawyers in the United Kingdom. He has ruled against Alfie's parents and the pro-life and pro-marriage Christian Legal Centre (CLC) repeatedly in the past few weeks.
"The loving union of one man and one woman is the normal God-given context for children to be born and raised," reads the CLC website description. "This pattern for married life has been under attack for all of human history. Divorce, homosexuality and transsexualism are three of the most significant challenges to God's pattern for family in today's society."
Tom Evans posted a Facebook live video from the hospital during the appeal proceedings, saying, "The warrior strikes again. He's back. He's just had a little dip, he went pale, lips started going a little bit but he's back. Just wanted everyone to know Alfie's stabilized."
Evans and James' son was born healthy in May 2016 but after missing a number of developmental milestones, Alfie's parents knew something was wrong. In December of that year, the sick toddler suffered a chest infection and was hospitalized for seizures.