The father of seriously ill toddler Alfie Evans says his son has been breathing unassisted for the nine hours since his life support was switched off.
Alfie’s parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, have been fighting a court ruling allowing medics to withdraw his life support, which it was last night (April 23).
They have lost legal cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.
Alfie fell ill in 2016 when he contracted a chest infection, triggering a spiral of different illnesses.
After being taken to hospital for treatment of his chest infection, Alfie began having severe epileptic seizures and was diagnosed with bronchitis, the common cold, a chest infection, RSV [respiratory syncytial virus], pneumonia and two other illnesses which left him exhausted.
Alfie, who is now 23-months-old, has constant seizures, and Tom and Kate want to take him to Rome for treatment – but doctors said any further treatment was not only ‘futile’ but ‘unkind and inhumane’.
The father of Alfie Evans says the toddler's life support was switched off last night, but he's been 'breathing unassisted for 9 hours' and oxygen supply has been resumed. Awaiting hospital comment. https://t.co/c5lQwk0kRs pic.twitter.com/nw0k2r67iV
— ITV Granada Reports (@GranadaReports) April 24, 2018
Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday afternoon (April 23) they had granted the toddler citizenship after a politician in the country pleaded them to.
According to the Liverpool Echo, an official statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy’s website reads:
Ministers Alfano and Minniti have granted Italian citizenship to little Alfie.
In this way the Italian government hopes that being an Italian citizen will allow the child immediate transfer to Italy.
Italian journalist and politician, Giorgia Meloni, thanked the Italian president for making the decision.
It’s one of those days when you remember that politics can make you do great things.
[As a] Mum, Italian and president of the party I thank the President-in-office of the council and ministers Alfano and LICR for having accepted my appeal and decided to grant Italian citizenship to Alfie Evans.
This will allow us to open a window to allow the child to come to Italy and be welcomed into one of our hospital facilities.
To Parents Thomas and Kate: we wish to see you in our nation soon.
— Andy Gill (@MerseyHack) April 23, 2018
Alfie’s Army, a Facebook group dedicated to raising awareness for Alfie by all means necessary, has received a lot of media attention – with many arguing the group are doing little more than creating bad press.
Up to 200 people have been protesting outside Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after European human rights judges rejected a plea to intervene from his mum and dad.
In one video believed to have been taken earlier today, protestors were refusing to allow people to drive past the hospital without beeping their horn.
A number of protesters were also reported to have ‘stormed’ into the hospital.
— CapitalLivNews (@CapitalLivNews) April 23, 2018
According to BBC News, Chief Inspector Chris Gibson said while officers ‘recognised the sensitivities involved in this very difficult and sad situation’ they wanted to remind the public it was a hospital for sick children.
It should not be forgotten that many families are going through extremely challenging and emotional times.
We would ask protestors to respect families and staff, including the poorly children in the wards and to ensure that access to the hospital is not restricted at any time, so that services including the blood and ambulance service can run as efficiently as possible.
Our thoughts are with Alfie, and his family during this difficult time.