Parents will seek to remove toddler from hospital, saying he has been breathing unassisted
Alfie Evans, the severely ill toddler whose life support machine was switched off on Monday, could immediately be flown to a childrens hospital in Rome for treatment if a last-ditch appeal succeeds, a solicitor involved in the case has said.
The childs parents were granted an emergency hearing before a high court judge on Tuesday afternoon after they said the 23-month-old boy had been breathing unassisted since his life support was removed.
His father later said that water and oxygen had been restored.
Tom Evans and Kate James will ask that an order preventing Alfies removal from Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool be lifted. Roger Kiska, a solicitor for the group Christian Concern, said medical transportation was available to take Alfie to Italy, where he has been offered treatment, if they win the appeal.
We are asking to lift all orders preventing Alfie from leaving Alder Hey and allow him to go to Italy. Theres medical transportation ready at any moment to take him, he said.
Everything is in place. We have no doubt that he would survive the trip. He would have full treatment, oxygen and everything, right to Italy. Its in his best interests to get treatment at a hospital abroad.
Life support was withdrawn from Alfie, who has a rare degenerative brain disease, on Monday after an appeal to the high court was turned down.
The boy, who has been at the centre of a protracted legal battle, is in a semi-vegetative state. Judges have agreed with doctors that further treatment would be futile and there is no hope of him getting better.
Evans and James, who are both in their early 20s and from Liverpool, insist their son is not in pain or suffering, but they have lost cases in the high court, court of appeal, supreme court and European court of human rights.
Alfies father told reporters outside Alder Hey on Tuesday morning that his son had breathed without assistance after life support was withdrawn. Evans said it became obvious he was breathing within a few minutes, although doctors re-intervened after he asked them to help.
They say Alfies suffering, Evans said. Well look at him now. Hes not even on a ventilator and hes not suffering.
The high court confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that a judge would consider further issues in Alfies case in a hastily arranged hearing in Manchester, expected to begin in the next few hours.
A spokesman for Christian Concern, which has been helping Alfies parents, confirmed its lawyers were on their way to Manchester for the hearing.
Kiska later said Alfies parents latest legal attempt followed their sons miraculous survival overnight.
The solicitor said Alfie survived for about six hours after his life support was withdrawn, but doctors were then forced morally to put him back on water and oxygen.
Clearly, the hospital and court believed that by removing life-supporting treatment, he would pass away within minutes, but that proved to be false, he said.
Evans was asked what intervention doctors had made. They left him for six hours without food, water and oxygen, he said.
I felt blessed when they confirmed they were going to give him his water and his oxygen. Hes now on oxygen. Its not changing his breathing, but its oxygenating his body.
He is still working, hes doing as good as he can. But we do need him to be supported In the next hour, its going to be hard, but we will need him to be supported in the next hour or two.
Because hes been doing it for nine hours totally unexpected, the doctors are gobsmacked, and I do believe he will need some form of life support in the next couple of hours, and I think he ought to be respected and given that.
The toddler has been seriously ill since having a seizure in December 2016.
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