Just weeks after the Charlie Gard saga concluded with the untimely death of the terminally ill boy, the story surrounding another baby who mysteriously slipped into a coma and is reportedly quite ill has been making headlines.
The U.K. toddler, named Alfie Evans, has reportedly only been given days to live, with his parents, Thomas Evans, 20, and mom, Kate James, 19, fighting to raise money to bring their child abroad for treatment.
According to Metro, Alfie has been in a coma for eight months due to a mysterious illness that experts believe could be a mitochondrial condition, which is what Charlie Gard suffered from.
Alfie is currently at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England, and his parents are fighting hard to raise money to potentially bring him to the U.S. — or another willing country — for treatment.
The 13 month old has been hospitalized since December 2016, when he contracted a chest infection. He previously missed some developmental milestones, and is currently struggling.
A fundraising page for the family reveals more background on the heartbreaking case:
Alfie was born healthy and on time. He was discharged after 3 days and from there our wait was over. We finally had him with us going home, our beautiful boy. This was a day we looked forward to for 9 months. He grew and fed well, but didn’t meet milestones. Alfie was a very sleepy baby who loved his sleep and when he was awake he was an agitated baby.
After a couple of weeks we noticed he wasn’t doing things he should e.g lifting his head up,looking at us for more than 20 seconds,grabbing his dummy,eating his hands,making gaga noises,etc. We also noticed he was doing a jerking movement with his hands, arms and legs and eyes would roll up. He always had his hands clenched into a fist too. He just didn’t do what he should of been doing so Kate took him the doctors, overall three times, and doctors said he was lazy and a late developer.
Months went by and Alfie went backward instead of forwards. He started making more jerking movement and wasn’t himself at all! This went on until Alfie got a chest infection. The infection led him to have a myoclonic jerking spasm.
In a recent Facebook post published earlier this month, Alfie’s parents said that the boy’s heart had slowed and that he wasn’t stretching as much; they feared his health was further diminishing.
While many of the details surrounding the case are unclear, Metro noted that Charlie Gard’s mom, Connie Yates, has helped the family by offering advice and guidance.
So far, it appears a court has not yet intervened in Alfie’s case as the courts had with Charlie Gard, but the family said in a statement that doctors are recommending that the little boy be taken off life support — something they reject.
“The doctors have indicated that his parents should withdraw life support and “allow him to die peacefully” because that’s ‘in his best interest,'” the family said in a statement.
But Thomas Evans, Alfie’s dad, said that the parents are “fighting tooth and nail” to save the baby, arguing that the child has brain function and is “not braid dead.”
“He has a future and a life in front of him to live,” he added. “He hasn’t given up and neither are we.”
A spokesperson for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital told The Daily Mail in a statement that the facility is working with the family, though the hospital declined to speak specifically about Alfie’s case.
“We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for the family concerned and we continue to liaise directly with them,” the spokesperson 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.”
The hospital said that there are times in which children do not recover, and that parents are consulted to figure out the best treatment plans moving forward. For now, Alfie’s parents are holding out hope in a potential remedy, with a friend posting an update to the family’s Facebook page on Aug. 29.
“Alfie had a stable day – he’s been having seizures — but he’s continuing to fight. We really are hoping that we get good news this week from the hospitals that have expressed interest in treating Alfie,” it read. “Please keep sending your positive thoughts and prayers our way! It means the world to us to have you all fighting alongside us.”