Alfie Evans: Parents want to take terminally ill son home after dropping bid to fly him to Italy

Toddler's life support removed as doctors say further treatment is futile

Tom Embury-Dennis
Thursday 26 April 2018 10:47
Alfie Evans' parents drop bid to take son to Italy and ask doctors to take him home instead

The parents of Alfie Evans want to take their terminally ill toddler home after dropping their bid to fly him out to Italy for continued treatment.

Tom Evans and Katie James failed in an 11th-hour challenge at the High Court on Wednesday after judges ruled the infant should not receive further medical treatment.

Alfie suffers from a degenerative neurological condition that has left him in a “semi-vegetative state”. Doctors have said further intervention is futile, and his life support was withdrawn on Monday.

Speaking outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool on Thursday, his father Tom Evans, 21, said he hoped to have a "positive" meeting with medical staff.

"We got rejected yesterday to go to Italy unfortunately,” Mr Evans told reporters outside the hospital.

“We could take it further but would that be the right thing to do, would there be more criticism?

"So what we do today is we have a meeting with the doctors at Alder Hey and we now start asking to go home."

He added: "Alfie doesn't need intensive care anymore. Alfie is lying on the bed with one litre of oxygen going into his lungs and the rest is him. Some people say it's a miracle, it's not a miracle, it's a misdiagnosis."

Alfie Evans' parents tried to discharge him from hospital

But lawyers representing Alder Hey bosses said Alfie's condition was irreversible and there was no evidence it had changed.

They said the fact that he had continued to breathe unaided might have surprised members of the public but had not surprised specialists.

Barrister Michael Mylonas QC, who led Alder Hey's legal team, said it had never been suggested that Alfie would die as soon as life-support treatment stopped.

Three appeal judges agreed and dismissed the challenge. Lord Justice McFarlane said nothing had changed since a previous court ruling that Alfie’s treatment should end.

Alfie Evans: The story so far

Mr Evans has threatened to return to court if a proposed meeting “doesn’t go well”.

"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,” he said.

"If the meeting doesn't go well today, well then, I'll go back to court."

He accused doctors at the hospital of being "wrong" about their diagnosis: "Alfie lives, comfortably, happily, without ventilation, without any form of ventilation.

"That must be enough for you now to consider that Alfie may prove you wrong."

Alder Hey hospital has said its staff have experienced "unprecedented personal abuse" from some quarters after it found itself at the centre of a "social media storm".

Hospital workers have been subjected to "highly abusive and threatening language and behaviour" in person, via phone and online, while there were reports of unauthorised members of the public attempting to enter the hospital.

"Having to carry on our usual day-to-day work in a hospital that has required a significant police presence just to keep our patients, staff and visitors safe is completely unacceptable," the hospital's chairman, Sir David Henshaw, and chief executive Louise Shepherd said in an open letter.

Merseyside Police issued a warning that it was monitoring posts online and that any "malicious communications or threatening behaviour" will be investigated and could lead to action.

Additional reporting by PA

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