Reminiscent of the Charlie Gard case last year, 23-month-old Alfie Evans has been at the center of a life support war between his parents, doctors, and the British courts for months now.
Alfie has been in a coma for over a year after being struck with an unidentified illness. Though he was born a perfectly healthy infant, Alfie started having complications at around seven months old.
He started having “seizure-like movements” after missing several development milestones, but doctors concluded at the time that he was merely “lazy and a late developer.”
After he caught a serious chest infection that induced more seizures, the boy was placed on life support at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, and medical professionals were forced to reconsider their diagnosis — or lack thereof.
Alfie is now in a “semi-vegetative state” with an unspecified degenerative neurological condition that some experts believe may be mitochondrial condition, the same disease Charlie Gard had.
While the British justice system has ruled that Alfie’s life support be shut off, his parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, vehemently disagree.
The two were allegedly “in bits, distraught, in pain,” after the horrifying death sentence for their son. They couldn’t believe the decision that he was “about to be murdered.”
The couple, appearing to hold Christian beliefs, referenced the 10 commandments in one court case. “Thou shalt not kill,” asserted Tom.
Through the healing power of God and the vehicle of modern medicine, they still believe there is hope for their baby boy, and an army of strangers has rallied around them in support.
On Thursday, April 12, nearly 500 waved banners in front of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital as part of “Alfie’s Army,” protesting the ruling and demanding his release from the hospital.
Tom claims they were “failed disgracefully by the system.”
“Does our son look in any of these pictures like he is dying!!!!!” he later wrote. “We as parents are not giving up … Our son is about to be murdered, taking [sic] away from us, his innocent life is about to be taken.”
True to their word, Tom and Kate have continued to fight.
Their controversial case has even caught the attention of Pope Francis who tweeted, “It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard. I am praying for Alfie, for his family and for all who are involved.”
It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard. I am praying for Alfie, for his family and for all who are involved.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 4, 2018
Now, even after obtaining legal documentation saying their child is free to leave the hospital, police have blocked Tom and Kate from leaving Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with their son.
Tom documented the heart-palpitating chain of events on YouTube.
Lawyer Pavel Stroilov of the Christian Legal Centre has informed the father that they have the right to remove Alfie from the hospital.
“Alfie is only in hospital because you, his parents, voluntarily sought its healthcare services,” the lawyer’s letter reads, in part. “Alfie retains the right to self-discharge from hospital. He is not imprisoned there. Because of his minority, it is for you, as his parents, to make a decision to self-discharge or to stay at hospital.”
Still, authorities have blocked the frantic parents from doing so, even after they equipped themselves with their own medical team and ventilator to safely and effectively do so.
“So anyone joining in, I’m live in the baby’s room,” says Tom in the video while pointing the camera to Alife. “There he is. Look at him. There he is. I’m here now with Alfie James.”
“There’s his stats,” he continued, redirecting the camera to the machines. “There’s his numbers. Look what I have in front of me,” he said of the lawyer’s letter. “I have a documentation saying that I have the right to take my son.”
Tom says he removed the “duty of care” from Alder Hey and placed it with an air ambulance company.
“Alder Hey is stopping us,” added Tom. “Alder Hey is calling the police. To murder my son. Alder Hey has phoned the police to stop me from taking my son out of the hospital.”
“This is my son. Look at my healthy, healthy young boy who’s undiagnosed and is certainly not dying,” said the distraught father while hovering the camera over his 23-month-old. “Look what the world’s coming to… we’re eagerly awaiting for them to release our boy legally. I’m shaking like a leaf. I’m shaking.”