Hospital tries to force baby off life support, parents won’t give up fight
LIVERPOOL, England, August 2, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The parents of a sick baby that a UK hospital wants to force off life support say they believe it's their "duty, devotion, and job to investigate all avenues of care" for their son, Alfie Evans.
Alfie has been at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital since December. He has "constant, chronic seizures," his father, Thomas Evans, explained to LifeSiteNews via email. He is in a coma and has a mysterious, undiagnosed disease.
"He is currently intubated and has a ventilator helping him to [breathe], but is also seen by doctors and family taking breaths himself," said Thomas. "He has come off life support three times and shown he can manage a maximum of 13 days without the ventilator."
According to a fundraising page Alfie's parents set up, the hospital "told us to get lawyers" because they want to pull Alfie's life support. His parents are hoping to find a neurologist who can help Alfie.
"We have requested some of Alfie's medicines be discontinued, and have seen some improvement from our decision," said Thomas. "Doctors are saying they have exhausted all [of their] diagnostic testing and they consulted with GOSH for a second 'opinion.'"
GOSH is Great Ormond Street Hospital, which fought in court for months to be able to remove Charlie Gard's life support against his parents' wishes.
"Neither parties can find out what is wrong with Alfie, and therefore Alder Hay is asking us to terminate all life-support measures and 'allow him to die peacefully,'" continued Thomas. "As Alfie's parents, we have a keen intuition of where our son is at, we have his best interest at heart at all times, and would never, ever, want him to suffer! We believe Alfie can get better with help."
Thomas and Alfie's mother, Kate James, believe that the cause of Alfie's mysterious illness can be discovered and that there is an answer to his disease.
"We believe that there is someone out there who knows and can help us find out what is wrong with Alfie, so that we may create and follow a proper medical plan of care for Alfie," they told LifeSiteNews. "We believe that our son is a precious gift that we are blessed with, have been given him for a reason, and to get him through whatever life throws at him and us."
According to his parents, there's a chance Alfie may have a mitochondrial disease, just like Charlie Gard did.
Rebecca Murphy, external communications manager for Alder Hey, sent LifeSiteNews a statement from the hospital.
"We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for the family concerned and we continue to liaise directly with them," it said. "We are unable to comment on individual cases. Alder Hey is a specialist children’s hospital which therefore means we treat many children with often complex, life-threatening conditions. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of our clinicians, some of these children are sadly unable to recover from their illness."
In the cases of children who are "unable to recover," then "medical professionals will meet to discuss the most appropriate care plan going forward, focusing on the comfort and wellbeing of the child concerned," it continued. "The [hospital] will often seek advice from specialist clinicians at other trusts. The care plan is always discussed in full with the family to reach agreement between clinicians and parents about the most appropriate care."
"We believe we deserve the right to make the decisions for our son's care and should be respected ... and [able to] decide what will happen," asserted Thomas.
Tom and Kate have raised more than £8,000 for Alfie's treatment.
The website Action 4 Alfie contains more information about Alfie's fight.