Alfie Evans' dad reveals he's giving tot mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to 'keep him alive' after judge rejected bid to fly him to Italy
Tom Evans said he and Alfie's mum Kate have been forced to help Alfie's breathing after "his lips turned blue".
Speaking outside Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool, heartbroken Tom added: "We were doing what a nurse should have been doing to sustain his life.
“Now they are saying that he looks really good but we all know he should be in Italy right now.”
A High Court judge earlier made the devastating call to reject a last-ditch attempt to take Alfie abroad — but asked doctors if it is possible to consider letting the 23-month-old tot go home.
Responding tonight, a weary Tom said: "I’ve got an uncle that could just do everything that the nurses do down to a tee and he’s medically trained to do this so I’m just going to keep on fighting for Alfie".
Alfie's parents have been embroiled in a lengthy battle for their son – who is suffering an unknown degenerative brain condition – to continue receiving treatment.
He has been in a "semi-vegetative state" for more than a year and is currently only receiving oxygen after being taken off life support last night.
Doctors argued that it was in Alfie's best interest to end his life support — a view consistently backed by the courts.
The latest on Alfie Evans' case:
- Alfie Evans has life support removed last night after Supreme Court ruling is not challenged by European Court of Human Rights
- A judge ruled tonight that Alfie cannot be flown to Italy for treatment – but asked Alder Hey doctors to consider letting him go home
- Doctors said they have a "genuine fear" of aggressive demonstrators
- Judge says there is "virtually nothing left" of Alfie's brain
- Alfie's parents are giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to "keep him alive"
Today Mr Justice Hayden described Alfie as "a fighter" as he raised the possibility of allowing the tot home or to a hospice for parents Tom Evans and Kate James to be with him in his final days.
He earlier told the emergency High Court hearing in Manchester: "If there were a more constructive attitude from the family might other options become possible, away from Alder Hey?", adding that taking Alfie home had been suggested.
But a doctor replied that there was a "genuine fear" among hospital staff of angry demonstrators supporting Alfie's family — adding it could take three to five days to put a plan in place.
On "courageous" Alfie's future care, Mr Justice Hayden added that options will be discussed with his parents "with the objective of promoting a removal from hospital if possible."
A plane had been put on standby to fly Alfie to Rome for treatment at the Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital after Pope Francis last week lent his support to the child's desperate family.
But the judge rejected as "disrespectful the principles of international diplomacy" Italy’s efforts to grant Alfie Italian citizenship to see him taken abroad.
And he slammed some supporters of Alfie’ parents – who were not in court – for giving them "misleading" advice that he said had damaged their relationship with the hospital.
There have been angry demonstrations and attempts to storm the hospital over recent days as Alfie's case was taken through the courts.
Mr Justice Hayden branded one man a "fanatic" who believed he knew better than the law — and warned the demonstrator had come "perilously" close to being held in contempt of court.
ALFIE'S LIFE: The young tot is just 23-months-old but is still fighting for his life
May 9: Alfie is born in Liverpool to parents Tom Evans and Kate James.
December: Alfie is taken to Alder Hey Children's Hospital after suffering seizures. He will spend the next 12 months there.
December 11: The hospital and family disagree over Alfie's treatment, with his parents saying that the hospital applied to the High Court to remove parental rights and withdraw ventilation.
December 19: The High Court case begins with Mr Justice Hayden saying he will make a decision on what is best for Alfie
February 1: A hearing begins at the High Court in Liverpool in which lawyers acting for the hospital claim further treatment for Alfie is unkind and inhumane.
February 2: One of Alfie's doctors tells the judge there is "no hope" for the youngster, who is in a semi-vegetative state from a degenerative neurological condition doctors have not been able to definitively identify.
February 20: Mr Justice Hayden rules in favour of hospital bosses, saying he accepted medical evidence which showed further treatment was futile.
March 1: Three Court of Appeal judges examine the case.
March 6: Court of Appeal judges uphold the decision of Mr Justice Hayden.
March 8: Alfie's parents ask for the case to be considered by Supreme Court justices.
March 20: Supreme Court justices decide the case is not worth arguing and refuse to give the couple permission to mount another appeal.
March 28: The European Court of Human Rights also rejects a request from the family to examine the case
April 16: Alfie's parents argue he is being wrongly "detained" at Alder Hey and make a habeas corpus application. Judges at the Court of Appeal in London rule against them.
April 17: Mr Evans and Ms James ask Supreme Court justices to consider their case for a second time.
April 18: Mr Evans flies to Rome and meets with Pope Francis.
April 20: The Supreme Court rules against Alfie's parents for a second time.
April 23: Alfie is granted Italian citizenship.
His life support is turned off at 9.17pm.
April 24: Alfie is still breathing on his own, according to his father
Last night Alfie's life support was switched off after the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene in the case.
But medics were left "gobsmacked" that the sick tot had continued to breathe for a further 19 hours before he was put on oxygen today.
Alder Hey insisted during today's hearing that doctors had explained that he could survive for hours or even days after his ventilator was withdrawn.
Refusing to accept the case for changing Alfie’s care plan, Mr Justice Hayden said: “There is capacity for something of his brain stem to generate breathing.
“But there is no sense of touch or taste or hearing and the brain remains predominantly water.”
Paul Diamond, representing Alfie's family, argued that it was not in Alfie's best interests to be left at Alder Hey.
He said Alfie should be flown abroad — with an air ambulance gifted by the Italian government ready to take him.
But frustrated at the emotive language used in court by the Evans' barrister, Mr Justice Hayden said: "You do not have the moral high ground in this court".
Responding to the ruling, Alder Hey said: "This evening the High Court again ruled that it is in Alfie's best interests to continue with the end of life care plan developed by the clinical team who have cared for him throughout.
"Our top priority therefore remains in ensuring Alfie receives the care he deserves to ensure his comfort, dignity and privacy are maintained throughout.
"This includes working closely with Kate and Tom as they spend this precious time together with him.
"We would be grateful if respect and consideration is shown to all our staff, patients and families at the hospital at this difficult time."
The hearing today had been seen as a glimmer of hope for the tot's family after they lost their last appeal at the High Court on Monday.
A spokesperson for the Christian Legal Centre, which has been assisting parents Tom and Kate, said: "Alfie has survived much longer than the doctors predicted, lending support to the request from Alfie's parents for Alfie to be seen by medical experts in Italy."
Dad Tom, 21, said this morning his son is still breathing and fighting against all odds, telling Good Morning Britain: "He is still working, he's doing as good as he can."
The family desperately asked for prayers of support today, saying: "Nearly 19 hours breathing on his own with just oxygen and water. Please please please continue to pray!!"
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