'Miracle': UK Toddler Allowed to Remain on Life Support, Thousands Show Support Outside Hospital
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In what's being described as a "miracle," a court in the United Kingdom allowed a 23-month-old boy to remain on life support while judges decide if he'll be allowed to be treated at a hospital outside the country.
CBN News reported that on Wednesday a justice had set a date and time to take Alfie Evans off life support against the wishes of his parents.
"There (have) been some exciting developments; there has been a stay of the end of life plan," Roger Kiska, legal counsel at Christian Legal Centre, told CBN News Thursday. "There will be a hearing on Monday at the Court of Appeal before three judges to determine the next steps forward."
Kiska called the situation miraculous.
"I would say it's definitely a miracle," he said. "Again, we're cautiously optimistic, but in and of itself, the fact that there will be a hearing on Monday, that there is a medical team in place to transport is in fact a miracle."
A medical team from Poland had been at the hospital to transport Alfie to one of three hospitals in Italy and Germany which offered to treat the toddler.
But Kiska told CBN News in a later interview that the team has since returned to their home base, following a disagreement between Alfie's parents and Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital which is part of the UK's National Health Service Foundation Trust.
"We have been told that a medical team from Poland did arrive to transport Alfie, that the parents were welcome to remove him from Alder Hey Hospital and were prevented by police," Kiska told CBN News. "The result has been a large protest with 3,000 people on Alfie's behalf and on behalf of Tom and Kate."
"It was quite a simultaneous protest - 3,000 people gathering on such short notice," he said. "It's a testament again to how precious and precarious life is - that in this day and age where just everyone's so busy and tied up in their own matters."
"For them to take the time to go out on a fairly chilly night and stand up for the life of this two-year-old is amazing," Kiska continued.
Thomas Evans and Kate James are Alfie's parents. The toddler is battling an undiagnosed brain disease, according to The Liverpool Echo.
Thomas recorded himself through Facebook Live from Alfie's hospital room, saying he had "withdrawn full duty of care" from the hospital and given it to an air ambulance company.
In the video, he also called for a "quiet protest" outside the hospital.
"Alder Hey is stopping us. Alder Hey (is) calling the police," he said in the video. "To murder my son. Alder Hey has phoned the police to stop me from taking my son out of the hospital."
"This is my son. Look at my healthy, healthy young boy who's undiagnosed. Who's certainly not dying," Thomas continued.
"Me (and Alfie's mum) sit, eagerly waiting, for them to release our boy legally," he later said. "I'm shaking like a leaf."
Kiska said the parents have the legal right to remove Alfie from Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
"These are legal questions to be determined on Monday when the matter will be heard," he said. "Our understanding of the law is that they do, that Alfie's not a ward of the state, that means he's not a prisoner of the hospital, and that the parental rights of Kate and Tom have not been extinguished."
"So our understanding is that he should be allowed to leave the hospital," Kiska added.
However, late Thursday evening, Mr Justice Hayden of the High Court granted an injunction to stop Alfie from being removed from the hospital, the Christian Legal Centre reported.
Kiska advised Alfie's parents "to hang in there."
"They have been stalwart. I know that Tom at one of the earlier hearings had told the judge that he would leave no stone unturned to save the life of his son," Kiska told CBN News. "And he's been true to his word, and he's done Alfie proud."
Kiska also called for "thoughts and prayers."
"We're seemingly at the finish line and a much happier finish line than had looked a few days ago, so just keep on praying," he said.
In February, Hayden ruled that whatever was causing Alfie's condition, the damage to the toddler's brain was so severe that it was in his best interest to be taken off life support.
The Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights upheld that decision.
CBN News reached out to Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust for comment. The hospital has not yet responded to our inquiry.
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