Parents of Alfie Evans set to appeal against High Court’s ruling that he cannot travel to Italy for treatment
The parents of sick toddler Alfie Evans will today appeal against a High Court decision preventing him from being taken to Rome for treatment, lawyers have confirmed.
On Tuesday a judge ruled the seriously ill boy may be allowed home from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, but will not be allowed to go to Rome for further treatment.
A spokeswoman for the Christian Legal Centre, representing Alfie’s parents, said the case is due to be heard at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday afternoon.
The 23-month-old confounded doctors’ expectations when he continued to live after life-support was withdrawn on Monday night, his father, Tom Evans, said.
He told reporters outside hospital on Tuesday night: ‘The court of appeal have reached out to us and said they are going to set back three judges to hear the case.
‘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.
‘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.’
Mr Evans revealed that Alfie had at times needed to be helped with his breathing, telling reporters: ‘At some point I had to give him mouth-to-mouth because his lips went blue and he was really fighting with his breathing so me and his mum were giving him mouth-to-mouth.’
A ‘last-ditch appeal’ in which the Italian ambassador granted Alfie citizenship of Italy in order to take him to Rome for treatment failed on Monday.
MOST POPULAR TODAY ON YAHOO
Company director jailed after fitting laser jammer to Range Rover and giving speed cameras the finger
British woman rescued after being kept as ‘sex slave’ in Italy
UK Euromillions winner scoops £121 million to become the third biggest lottery winner ever
Boyfriend ‘beat partner to death then dumped body parts in bins and toilet’
And a late night court hearing heard by telephone by Mr Justice Hayden and lawyers for both sides confirmed his earlier decision permitting life support, helping Alfie to breathe, to be withdrawn.
During another three-hour hearing on Tuesday at the Family Division of the High Court sitting in Manchester, Paul Diamond, from the Christian Legal Centre, suggested the alleged change in the position meant the court should reconsider its decision on allowing Alfie to travel abroad.
He handed the court a witness statement from Mr Evans in which he suggested his son’s health was ‘significantly better’ than first thought since life support was withdrawn at 9.17pm on Monday, as he was continuing to live and breathe.
But Mr Justice Hayden said in his ruling: ‘The sad truth is that it is not.
‘With little, indeed no hesitation, I reject that.
‘The brain cannot regenerate itself and there is virtually nothing of his brain left.’
Instead the judge said Alfie’s continued life was a ‘shaft of light’ and a ‘special opportunity’ for his parents to spend time with him – not the time for more legal manoeuvres.
And he criticised the ‘malign hand’ of one of the family’s advisers, law student Pavel Stroilov, who had, the court heard, been party to Mr Evans lodging a private prosecution of Alder Hey Hospital doctors, allegedly for murder.
The judge said, in fact, the hospital had provided ‘world class’ care for the child.
The judge said Alfie’s parents could ‘explore’ the options of removing him from intensive care either to a ward, a hospice or his home.
But a doctor treating Alfie, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that for Alfie to be allowed home would require a ‘sea change’ in attitude from the child’s family, and they feared that in the ‘worst case’ they would try to take the boy abroad.
Alfie has been at the centre of a life or death treatment battle, with his parents, Mr Evans and Kate James, trying to block doctors from withdrawing life support in a sometimes acrimonious six-month dispute which has seen a series of court battles.
The hospital’s doctors and independent medical experts say there is no cure and no hope for Alfie.