WASHINGTON – Less than a month after the tragic death of 11-month-old Charlie Gard, his mother is aiding the family of a baby who may be facing a similar fate: death in his own “best interest.”
Alfie Evans is a 13-month-old British boy who has been in a coma for more than five months.
Doctors are baffled as to what illness has caused his condition, but some fear it might be a mitochondrial disease similar to the one that killed Charlie Gard.
Alfie’s family has claimed the doctors treating him at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool have recommended they withdraw Alfie’s life support because it is “in his best interest” to be allowed to “die peacefully,” according to the London Sun.
Doctors have even threatened to take legal action against Alfie’s father, Tom Evans, if he does not allow them to remove life support, according to the London Mirror.
However, Alfie’s family refuses to give in without a fight.
“We are fighting tooth and nail to save our baby son while he is ignored and denied opportunities,” Tom Evans said. “We believe that there is someone out there who knows and can help us find out what is wrong with Alfie, so that we may create and follow a proper medical plan of care for him. We believe that our son is a precious gift that we are blessed with and we have been given him for a reason, to get him through whatever life throws at him and us.”
Alfie’s aunt, Sarah Evans, agreed but was even more critical of the physicians treating him.
“At this point, we’re literally grasping at any leads we can get … but the doctors seem to just be leaving him to die,” she said. “Thomas is constantly pushing for the doctors to try CBD, a drug that has been proven to work for other children with similar symptoms to Alfie. But nothing is happening. It’s just not fair. At the moment, it’s just a case of waiting to see if anyone is able to draw up a plan of action.”
And Alfie’s family has now been getting aid from a powerful ally: Connie Yates, Charlie Gard’s mother.
Sarah Evans said Yates has been “brilliant” in helping the family, doing everything from recommending mitochondria specialists to giving fundraising tips. She also has given a boost to social-media awareness about Alfie’s condition.
A Facebook group called Alfie’s Army, reminiscent of the Charlie’s Army Facebook groups and hashtags, now has over 23,000 members, and Alfie’s family has had success in a crowdfunding campaign, raising money to get a diagnosis and possible treatment for Alfie.
If a diagnosis is found, half-a-dozen American hospitals have offered help to the Evans family, according to the Mirror. Tom Evans said one in Miami was particularly optimistic about Alfie’s chances.
“Alfie has brain function – he is not in a vegetative state – he is not brain dead,” Tom Evans wrote on Aug. 22. “He has a future and a life in front of him to live. He hasn’t given up and neither are we. We will continue to fight until Alfie stops fighting – it’s been 8 months and our little soldier is still fighting and we are not giving up on him. We spend every waking precious moment with him. We love him so much. He is our world.”
WND reported the story of Charlie Gard, who died a week before his first birthday.
He suffered from a rare form of mitochondrial disease, a condition that causes brain damage and progressive muscle weakness. After a grueling months-long battle waged by his parents, judges in the United Kingdom denied Connie Yates and Chris Gard the opportunity to take their critically ill baby to the U.S. for treatment.
“Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie,” his mother Connie said of her son’s death.
The baby’s troubling predicament created international uproar and drew hundreds of supporters and incited debate over whether the government should have imposed “death with dignity” over a family’s wish to seek out experimental medication for their sick child.
Hundreds of Gard’s supporters, who call themselves “Charlie’s Army,” had raised nearly $1.8 million on an online fundraising site to help ensure he’d receive adequate treatment.
In the end, though, the British government and courts refused his parents permission to seek help.
Gard’s parents ended their fight with the courts on July 24, and their baby was moved to a hospice on July 27. They explained they were told by an American expert who flew to the U.K. to examine Charlie that the time during which an experimental treatment probably would have helped had been consumed by the court fight.
His mother, Connie, contended that her son’s life would have been spared if he had been permitted to receive experimental therapy.
Time had been “wasted,” Connie said.
“Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner, he would have had had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy.”