An ill 21-month-old boy who had his oxygen removed by a U.K. children's hospital — a directive backed by the courts and made against his parents' wishes — is currently fighting for his life.
Officials directed that little Alfie Evans, who is believed to have encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, have his life support removed after the boy's parents lost a legal battle in the British Supreme Court just days ago.
Alder Hey Children's Hospital claims it's not in the boy's "best interests" to stay on a ventilator and maintains that further treatment is "futile." The boy's parents, alternatively, wish to continue to fight for their baby's life.
According to Facebook postings from the boy's desperate father, Tom Evans, Alfie had his ventilator removed at 9:17 p.m. on Monday and is still alive and continuing to fight for his life. Alder Hey Children's Hospital, he says, is refusing to oxygenate the boy.
"He's been sustaining his own life since 17 minutes past nine. We just need him oxygenated and they are denying us to do that. So, if anyone has any ideas or if anyone can help, feel free," says Mr. Evans, adding, "Alfie is still here fighting."
Earlier on Monday, protesters in support of young Alfie and his parents stormed Alder Hey Children's Hospital before being apprehended by police.
According to a report from Live Action, "Part of the issue, judging by the most recent Supreme Court ruling, appears to be that if Alfie survives, he will be severely disabled, and treating him is therefore not worth the effort or expense to keep him alive."
“Alfie looks like a normal baby, but the unanimous opinion of the doctors who have examined him and the scans of his brain is that almost all of his brain has been destroyed,” said the justices. “No one knows why. But that it has happened and is continuing to happen cannot be denied. It means that Alfie cannot breathe, or eat, or drink without sophisticated medical treatment. It also means that there is no hope of his ever getting better.”
Pope Francis has tweeted out his support for young Alfie, and hospitals in other counties have offered to take in the boy for treatment. Italy even granted Alfie citizenship in hopes that the baby would be allowed to leave the U.K. and seek treatment. This was also denied.
Alfie's parents have set up a crowdfunding page asking for support, which can be found by clicking here.