Alfie Evans’ Parents Hoping to Take Son Home

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by Alexander Slavsky  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  April 26, 2018   

Comes after Appeals Court rejected 'last-ditch' effort to take son to Italy for treatment

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LIVERPOOL, England (ChurchMilitant.com) - The parents of a sick British infant are meeting with doctors in order to take him home in the next few days. 

This comes after the British Appeals Court rejected the family of Alfie Evan's "last-ditch appeal" Wednesday to appeal a High Court ruling Tuesday, ignoring the plea of Evan's family to transport him to Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome for future treatment. But High Court Lord Justice Anthony 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 minimal oxygen, water and nutrition for more than 60 hours as of press time.

Tom Evans, Alfie's father, affirmed to reporters Thursday outside of Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool that his son is "not suffering" and "not in pain," adding, "As I sit next to Alfie's bedside, every second of every day, it encourages me more and more that he will live for 'x' amount of months, possibly years." 

Continuing, he said, "All I ask for now is for this meeting to be a positive one, and I hope to have Alfie, on the terms of mine and Alder Hey, to be home within a day or two. If the meeting doesn't go well today, well then, I'll go back to court." 

Following the Wednesday ruling, the chairman of Alder Hey, Sir David Henshaw, and chief executive, Louise Shepherd, said in a letter that Alfie's story has "deeply affected" them, and they felt "deeply" for him and his family. 

They also lamented the "barrage of highly abusive and threatening" language and behavior of protesters outside of the hospital despite what they characterize as "world class" treatment for the sick toddler from "truly remarkable doctors and the warm and compassionate energy of the nurses whose concern and compassion is almost tangible." 

But Tom Evans says the hospital "hate us, they don't like us." Continuing, he insisted, "Because I've fought against them for so long, and I'm right. It's a misdiagnosis. It's not a miracle, it's a misdiagnosis. They've chosen to leave Alfie like that for months and months." 

Alfie's mother, Kate James, shared a video Wednesday on Facebook after the dismissal of the appeal. In the video, she is shown stroking her son's face while he peacefully sleeps. She wrote, "My whole entire world — I love you so much baby boy." 

This comes as Steven Woolfe, a member of the European Parliament, announced he is launching "Alfie's Law" campaign outside the House of Parliament Thursday to overturn the law "to bring an end to the tragic situation of parents of young children such as Alfie Evans." 

Pushing for parents' rights in high profile cases, he continued: 

The cases of Charlie Gard, Aysha King and now Alfie Evans, show a dangerous trend of public bodies depriving parents and families of the right to make decisions they believe are in the best interests of their children. Parents' rights should neither be ignored nor dismissed as irrelevant by hospitals and courts, who believe they know best and have the power, money and resources to overwhelm families who simply want to save their child. We demand a change in the law to restore the rights of parents in such decisions.

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." 

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. 

 

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