Steven Woolfe MEP has said that he has had “positive talks” with Alder Hey Hospital and doctors have agreed to suspend plans to withdraw life support from critically ill baby Alfie Evans.
Following a meeting with doctors, Alfie’s parents, and a group of the child’s supporters known as Alfie’s Army on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Woolfe said:
“Instead of the end of life of Alfie in the next 24 hours, the hospital is considering and reviewing not only Alfie’s care and the way he is physiologically and whether he is capable of travelling to Italy [for treatment] but whether the planes are capable of taking him there and whether the hospital in Italy will also take him.
“I think this is incredibly positive, and a really good move from the hospital.”
After exhausting all options through the UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights, Tom Evans and Kate James were told that their son would be taken off life support at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool on Friday.
On Thursday morning, Mr. Evans and Ms. James had refused to sign papers to allow the end of the 22-month-old boy’s life, and uploaded videos of their son which show him moving and, they claim, breathing on his own.
Just had a meeting at @AlderHey with Alfie's parents @Alfiesarmy16. Hospital agreed not to end Alfie's life today and will consider the alternative options we presented, including for Alfie to recieve treatment available in Italy.
— Steven Woolfe MEP (@Steven_Woolfe) April 5, 2018
The hospital’s decision to explore options comes after Pope Francis tweeted support for Alfie on Wednesday, writing: “It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard. I am praying for Alfie, for his family and for all who are involved.”
Alfie was struck down by a neurological condition that doctors have been unable to diagnose and has been on life support at the children’s hospital since December 2016.
Speaking to Sky News Thursday afternoon, the MEP for North West England expressed his gratitude to Alder Hey and the Italians lobbying for Alfie, adding that the hospital’s decision to end life support has not been completely reversed, pending further tests and due diligence.
— HumanRights ECHR (@HumanRightsECHR) April 4, 2018
“I just hope [Alder Hey] take stock of what we discussed today. I met with Alfie. his eyes were opening, he looked like he was smiling… Certainly, he looked like a bright, lovely young child. ”
The Evans’ hope to be allowed to have Alfie transported to Rome to be treated at the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù children’s hospital.
Though the Italian hospital’s consultants said that they would not be able to cure the toddler, they offered to take him to Rome for operations to help him breathe and eat which would allow him to live for an “undefined period”.