London: The father of a terminally ill British toddler said the child is surviving after being taken off life support, surprising doctors who had argued he should be allowed to die.
Tom Evans says his 23-month-old son, Alfie, survived for six hours with no assistance, and that doctors are now providing oxygen and hydration. “He’s now on oxygen,” Evans said. “It's not changing his breathing but it’s oxygenating his body.”
Alfie is in a “semi-vegetative state” as a result of a degenerative neurological condition doctors have been unable to identify.
He was taken off life support after a series of court rulings backed doctors who said further treatment was futile.
Alfie’s parents, Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, want to take him to the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital. Doctors at Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital believe that would not be in the toddler's best interests, and British courts have agreed.
The case has drawn the attention of Pope Francis, who during a Sunday blessing in St. Peter's Square this month offered prayers for Alfie and others who are suffering from serious infirmities. Francis has made appeals for the boy to be kept alive, saying only God can decide who dies.
The hospital said it would not be offering a running commentary on the child’s condition....