Tom Evans, the father of Alfie, has issued a “final” statement on his son’s current situation, and also nodded to the “professionalism” of the staff at Alder Hey. In a statement that was far removed from his earlier argument that clinicians had “misdiagnosed” his son, Evans thanked supporters for their dedication but asked that they now be given their privacy as a family.
“Our lives have been turned upside down by the intense focus on Alfie and his situation,” he said outside the hospital, as reported by Sky News. “Our little family along with Alder Hey has become the center of attention for many people around the world and it has meant we have not been able to live our lives as we would like.”
“We would now ask you to return to your everyday lives and allow myself, Kate and Alder Hey to form a relationship, build a bridge and walk across it,” Evans added, alluding to his current negotiations with Alder Hey staff on a possible transfer home for Alfie. He added, “We also wish to thank Alder Hey staff at every level for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly difficult time for them too.”
“In Alfie’s interests we will work with his treating team on a plan that provides our boy with the dignity and comfort he needs,” Tom continued. “From this point onwards there will be no more statements issued or interviews given. We hope you will respect this.”
In his previous statement, Evans explained to the public that Alfie had been off a ventilator for three days and highlighted that there had been no deterioration in his medical condition — he even suggested that doctors had misdiagnosed his son.
The stark contrast in his statements is likely to be because his lawyers have made it clear there are no other avenues to exhaust and that the only way they can secure a home transfer is to negotiate with doctors. The Evans family has been critical of the medics at Alder Hey, and the fraught and tense relationship between the two parties has been made clear in the various court hearings.
“He hasn’t woken up, he’s still a little bit weak, but what we ask for is to go home to sustain his life,” Evans said. “Because in here there’s been no neurological assessment. No immediate care for him. It’s just nurses sitting outside the room and leaving us to do what we do.”
“People are starting to itch their heads now because Alder Hey is making this hole bigger for themselves,” he continued in his earlier remarks.
“At the end of the day there’s a child in the middle of all this. It shouldn’t be about costs, it should be about Alfie.”
The UK’s Court of Appeal yesterday rejected a legal challenge lodged by the parents of Alfie Evans following a series of legal setbacks that have left Tom Evans and Kate James unable to save their son’s life.
The Evans’ family was hoping to transfer 23-month-old Alfie to Italy for treatment at a Vatican-affiliated children’s hospital. They had an air ambulance crew on standby outside Alder Hey. But this wasn’t enough to convince the Appeal Court judges that such a move would be in Alfie’s “best interests.” The Court of Appeals rejected two separate appeals, one from Alfie’s father Tom, and another from his mother Kate.
During the course of the lengthy court hearing, Alfie’s mother phoned her barrister to let him know of Alfie’s deteriorating condition – she urged that her son needed immediate intervention. “I have spoken to her directly,” Jason Coppel QC told the court. “The purpose of the phone call was to say that Alfie was struggling and needed immediate intervention to ensure that he survives at least for the purposes of today and she asked me if I would pass that on to the court and ask that the court invite the hospital to take the appropriate steps.”
The Christian Legal Centre’s Paul Diamond did his level best to exhaust every possible legal avenue available to the family in order to gain permission to move Alfie from Alder Hey Children’s hospital. Diamond requested that the court “get out of judicial straight jacket” and admit that “best interest” should never mean someone needs to die.
In the end, it came down to whether or not Alfie’s life was worth saving.
Diamond implored the courts to recognize the innate value present in Alfie’s existence. “We submit there is a likelihood of Alfie having some pleasure in life. That is beyond our knowledge,” he said.
Lady Justice King replied: ‘That is not the evidence.”
It has since been revealed that Tom Evans has lodged a “conspiracy to murder” case against three doctors at Alder Hey. Subsequently, when Diamond suggested that the father had no “hostility” towards the NHS, Justice McFarlane snapped back.
“Your client purported to take out a private prosecution to have three named doctors charged with the criminal offence of conspiracy to murder,” the judge said, as reported by the Daily Mail. “Those summonses were served on the doctors and I hear you say that there is no hostility to the NHS.”
This is likely the last line of defense Alfie had in seeking further treatment outside Alder Hey. It is also unclear as of now what, if any, types of treatment will be provided for Alfie while he remains at his current hospital.
Paul Diamond, the barrister representing Alfie’s father, Tom, told the judges earlier that: “We submit there is a likelihood of Alfie having some pleasure in life. That is beyond our knowledge.” But Lady Justice King of the Court of Appeals fundamentally rejected this claim responding: “That is not the evidence. The evidence is that he is unlikely to have pain, but that tragically everything that would allow him to have some appreciation of life, or even the mere touch of his mother, has been destroyed irrevocably.”
“In reality, he could be in Italy right now. We all know the military air force are ready to take him and a team of doctors are there.”
Evans added: “We’ve also got a German air ambulance team, who attempted to take him in the first place, ready… the reality is these people are eager to get him out of the country and I’m not giving up because Alfie’s breathing away, he’s not suffering.”
Speaking to ITV’s This Morning program, Evans explained how medics had left his son without food or water for a number of hours. “Doctors only just started feeding him at 1 o’clock yesterday,” he said. Alfie’s life support was switched off around 9 pm the previous evening.
“It’s disgusting how he’s being treated. Not even an animal would be treated like this,” Evans continued, before adding that the youngster was “proving” doctors wrong, saying: “I’m not happy with the way they’re just leaving him in there and not really pushing to continue to save his life.”
Some reports have also indicated that Tom Evans was forced to give Alfie mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to keep him breathing.
Around 150,000 people have now signed a petition urging the Queen of England to intervene. The petition reads:
“To Her Majesty in Parliament:
We the undersigned humbly petition Your Majesty for protection of life and liberty of your 23-months-old subject Alfie Evans.
The judges in Your Majesty’s Courts have given orders:
* to kill Alfie on an appointed hour at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool by withdrawing his life support;
* for the day and hour of that killing to be kept secret from the public to avoid any protest or hinderance; and
* for Alfie to be detained in Alder Hey until his death – any attempt to release him to be resisted by force, and punished by imprisonment.
These cruel orders are not authorised by any law ever passed in a democratic Parliament. Instead, the said judges pretend to exercise Your Majesty’s ancient autocratic jurisdiction over the life and death of your subjects.”
The petition appears to have been signed off by Thomas Evans, Alfie’s father.
In yesterday’s emergency hearing, Justice Hayden urged doctors to consider having Alfie moved home, but the medics present appeared concerned by this suggestion.
This morning, Polish President Andrzej Duda tweeted out his personal support for the 23-month-old. “Alfie Evans must be saved! His brave little body has proved again that the miracle of life can be stronger than death. Perhaps all that’s needed is some good will on the part of decision makers. Alfie, we pray for you and your recovery!” he wrote.
In the latest update from the Alfie’s Army page, the youngster’s aunt, Sarah Evans, posted: “Please continue to pray Alfie is still fighting, I need a portable Bpap or CPAP at the hospital ASAP. Please”
These machines offer a non-invasive form of therapy for patients with breathing difficulties.
Speaking to ITV’s This Morning, Tom talked about the possibility of getting Alfie home. “I believe I am getting closer – Mr Diamond [the family’s barrister] did have some progress,” he said. “We would feel more blessed to get him to the Italian hospital.”