“I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in His tender embrace.” – Pope Francis
British authorities have absolutely ensured that 23-month-old Alfie Evan of Liverpool is dead.
Catching the world’s attention, the British courts ruled against his parents, Kate James, 20, and Tom Evans, 21, who required legal permission for their son to leave the UK to receive medical treatment at the Vatican’s dell’Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù (Baby Jesus Children’s Hospital), the same hospital visited by Melania Trump on a recent European visit by she and the president.
As reported by Dan Hitchens of the Catholic Herald (of London);
At the end of 2016, Alfie started having seizures, and since then he has been cared for by Alder Hey hospital. He is suffering from an undiagnosed brain condition. In a court judgment in February this year, Mr Justice Hayden referred to the opinions of doctors not only from Alder Hey, but also from two separate experts at Great Ormond Street, from two Munich hospitals, and from the senior clinical team at Bambino Gesù itself.
“All agreed,” Mr Justice Hayden wrote, that the “degeneration” of Alfie’s brain “is both catastrophic and untreatable”. Last Friday, the Supreme Court rejected Alfie’s parents’ appeal for further treatment, saying: “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.” No recovery is possible, according to the doctors.
Mr. Justice (Sir Anthony Paul) Hayden ruled that the decision had to be taken out of the parents’ hands – because of the risk that Alfie is in pain (though the judge agreed with the doctors that this was “unlikely”) and for the sake of Alfie’s “future dignity” and “autonomy”.
Alfie was taken off his ventilator and managed to survive for five days.
However, Alfie’s father, Tom, and his parents are Catholic, and in an audience with Pope Francis they have found an ally.
The pontiff gave the family not only his prayers and support, but also guaranteed Alfie a spot at the Vatican’s children’s hospital to treat his still undiagnosed illness.
As it turns out, not only did Pope Francis come to Alfie’s defense, so did the Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, Interior Minister Marco Minniti, former Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło, and Polish President Andrzej Duda.
The governor of the Italian province of Veneto, Gov. Luca Zaia, said that in Alfie;
The “so-called civilized world has supplied the latest proof of enormous incivility.”
Alfie Evans must be saved! His brave little body has proved again that the miracle of life can be stronger than death. Perhaps all that’s needed is some good will on the part of decision makers. Alfie, we pray for you and your recovery!
— Andrzej Duda (@AndrzejDuda) April 25, 2018
According to the Italian Catholic news portal ANSA, a bit of a stunning announcement came from Rome;
Italy on Monday gave Italian citizenship to terminally ill British toddler Alfie Evans so that he can hopefully be “immediately” moved to Italy from Liverpool, where doctors are set to pull the plug on him, the foreign ministry said. “Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano and Interior Minister Marco Minniti have granted citizenship to little Alfie,” the ministry said.
“In this way the Italian government hopes that being an Italian citizen will enable the immediate transfer of the child to Italy”.
Not only have the Italians conferred citizenship on Alfie, according to the AP, Italy “put a military plane on standby to transport him to Rome, if the courts allowed it.”
Also from the Catholic Herald;
The parents suggested a course of action: Alfie could be flown to Bambino Gesù in Rome, which was eager to care for the boy. The hospital’s president, Mariella Enoc, told Vatican News last week that the hospital cannot cure him – but they can keep him alive and carry on trying to identify his still-unknown illness. But Alder Hey argued that the end should be accepted – and the High Court, as well as the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights, took the same view.
In the end, Dan Hitchens, who is also the deputy editor of the Catholic Herald, noted;
For Alfie Evans, who was baptised and has not a stain on his soul, death can only be a prelude to eternal life with God. But what will most stay in the public’s mind is the witness of the Evans parents to an unyielding love put through an unimaginable ordeal.
Addio piccolo Alfie. Ti abbiamo voluto bene. (Goodbye, Little Alfie. We loved you.)#AlfieEvans
— Angelino Alfano (@angealfa) April 28, 2018