A week ago today would have marked Charlie Gard’s first birthday, a day every parent deserves to celebrate. Instead, Charlie’s parents are grieving from having just buried their baby boy, while talking to reporters about it.
Sadly, while many people have already moved on and forgotten little Charlie Gard, another set of parents, Kate James and Tom Evans, are sitting by their son’s hospital bed terrified their baby will be next.
Alfie Evans is a 15-month-old baby boy lying helplessly in a coma at Alder Hay Hospital, yet another United Kingdom hospital threatening to pull a baby off life support.
Just like Charlie, Alfie’s parents have reached out to hospitals in other countries and have hospitals in the United States ready to take him.
In fact, at least a dozen American hospitals have responded that they are willing to take Alfie, including a very promising one in Miami, Florida.
But unlike Charlie, Alfie does not have an exact diagnosis, making it even easier for the UK hospital to deny their transfer requests and push to take the baby off life support.
In fact, Alfie’s father, Tom, said the hospital has already told them they are prepared to take legal action to remove their son from life support.
In a recent interview with ECHO, Tom spoke openly about the situation:
“I’m worried because I think Charlie might have had more of a chance than my son, who doesn’t even have a diagnosis – I’m worried about Alder Hey doing the same.
“When I heard about Charlie I just held Alfie as tight as I could, cuddled him and cried my eyes out.”
You can see the tears in his eyes just reading these desperate words from a devastated father.
To raise awareness and keep supporters updated, Tom created a Facebook group, “Alfie’s Army,” where he posts openly about his son.
In the beginning, Alfie Evans seemed like a normal healthy baby boy. But after a few months of life, his parents noticed he seemed to have abnormal weakness.
Initially, doctors thought he would just develop more slowly than other children and they had nothing to worry about.
They were wrong. Shortly after meeting with the doctors, Alfie had an episode causing him to slump in his chair and experienced seizure-like symptoms.
He was rushed to the hospital, where he was admitted and diagnosed with bronchitis, pneumonia, and other infections.
He later suffered seizures and fell into a coma.
While this may seem like a hopeless situation, there is a glimpse of hope.
Even though Alfie is in a coma, he will open his eyes, suck on his pacifier and even stretch his little body, things not typically seen in coma patients. It’s almost like he’s saying, “don’t give up on me.”
Kate and Tom also haven’t been taken to court by the hospital.
Charlie’s parents were dragged through agonizing court proceedings only to have their hopes dashed in the end.
They had expert witnesses, a hospital in America ready to take him, a treatment plan and even the U.S. Congress granting Charlie American citizenship and, still, the overstepping hospital won the right to kill him.
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, a pro-life advocate and pastor, traveled to the UK to advocate for the Gard family.
In a column printed in the Free Lance Star on August 3rd, 2017, Charlie’s 1st birthday, Katie Mahoney penned these words:
My husband was in the courtroom several times when Charlie’s parents, Connie and Chris Gard, walked out in tears, appalled at the condescending rhetoric that told them what they must follow, what was best for them, how they should feel as others forcibly decide Charlie’s fate on their behalf—their role as loving parents completely stripped from them.
The hospital claims, “We have tried absolutely everything to accommodate their final wishes and engaged … experts from across the health service in close consultation with the NHS (National Health Service) to make this happen.”
And yet, the parents DID have intensive care nurses and doctors lined up for 24/7 care greater than at the hospital in an apartment nearby, to be with him his last hours as requested.
The way the hospital and courts commandeered every move, and put themselves up as the final arbitrator in the life and death of this precious child, is both sickening and chilling. It is unthinkable.
The hospital officials had already controlled and taken away any hope of earlier treatment that may have saved him, necessitating Charlie’s “death with dignity” as they wished (and actually pushed for).
Not only did the hospital push for Charlie to be taken off life support, but they actively delayed the final decision past the point the U.S. hospitals had said he could be treated. In essence, they sentenced him to death twice.
And if that wasn’t infuriating enough, Charlie’s guardian ad litem is on the board of a euthanasia organization.
Watching Charlie’s story unfold has been terrifying for Alfie’s parents and families around the world.
And while you sit there thanking God for your healthy children and that this couldn’t possibly happen to you, the fact is, it most certainly can.
As governments around the world push their way into people’s everyday lives, the line between government control and personal responsibility continues to be blurred.
Right now, the United States has its most controversial and socialized healthcare ever.
As it stands, American healthcare is not as far reaching as that of the UK, but there have already been cases around the country of children being removed from homes or parents losing power to make decisions for their children’s treatment.
The future of American healthcare remains a mystery and every parent should be concerned.
If it further pushes into socialism and government control, what keeps the next Charlie Gard or Alfie Evans from being your child or grandchild?
Want to get involved?
Share this article to spread awareness and join “Alfies Army” on Facebook.
First published at Mommy Underground
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.