Even though doctors said he would die within minutes after being removed from life support, two-year-old Alfie Evans has been breathing on his own for more than 15 hours as his parents pursue a last-ditch effort to have him transferred to Italy.
The Guardian is reporting on the tense situation taking place in the UK today as little Alfie Evans continues to breathe on his own after being removed from life support. His father, Tom Evans, said his son’s survival has left the doctors “gobsmacked.”
Writing on Facebook, Evans said his 23-month-old boy was still alive following “over 10 horrendous, scary, heartbreaking hours” after a court ruled the hospital could discontinue the child’s life support. Everyone expected him to die immediately, but the boy kept breathing.
At first, the hospital refused any hydration or oxygen support in spite of the boy’s survival but is now providing him with this support.
Alfie’s father and mother, Kate James, immediately sought an emergency hearing before a high court judge to request that the order preventing Alfie from being removed from the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool be lifted. The hearing is expected to take place today. In the event of a favorable ruling, a helicopter is standing by to transport Alfie to Bambino Jesu Children’s Hospital in Rome which has agreed to care for him.
“We are asking to lift all orders preventing Alfie from leaving Alder Hey and allow him to go to Italy. There’s medical transportation ready at any moment to take him,” said Roger Kiska, a solicitor for the group Christian Concern.
“Everything is in place. We have no doubt that he would survive the trip. He would have full treatment, oxygen and everything, right to Italy. It’s in his best interests to get treatment at a hospital abroad.”
The solicitor went on to say that doctors were “forced morally” to put Alfie back on water and oxygen after six hours of breathing on his own.
“Clearly, the hospital and court believed that by removing life-supporting treatment, he would pass away within minutes, but that proved to be false,” Kriska said.
Alfie is suffering from a rare degenerative brain disease which was discovered in December 2016 when he began to have seizures. Some experts suspect that he has the same condition as Charlie Gard – known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. However, doctors have never definitively diagnosed him.
At the present time he is described as being in a semi-vegetative state.
Even though he is still breathing on his own, Alfie will need more support soon which is why his parents are hoping the court will allow them to take their boy to a hospital that will care for him.
The whole world is rallying around this little fighter, however.
Even the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, is in favor of continuing treatment for Alfie.
“The power of love is defeating the cynicism of those who have pulled the plug,” Tajani said on Twitter. “All my support to #Alfie and his extraordinary parents.”
Let us continue to keep this brave family in our prayers!
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