The World Rages For Alfie Evans

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter
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Alfie Evans’ parents ended their legal battle to treat him abroad, but protests for the child have spread like wildfire across the world.

Tom Evans and Kate James had reached an accord with the staff at Alder Hey Hospital concerning a plan to give Alfie comfort and dignity, Evans announced Thursday afternoon. Even also asked Alfie’s Army, their supporters in the U.K., to stand down to allow those plans to move forward, according to the Mirror. Protests ceased in London but continued worldwide, with demonstrations spreading from the U.K. to Ireland, Italy and even the U.S.

Protesters carried out marches in Washington, D.C., and Belfast on Thursday afternoon, demanding Alfie Evans be allowed to leave the hospital with his parents and be treated at the Vatican’s Gesu Bambino Pediatric Hospital. Alfie’s Army protesters also launched a march in London but were stopped halfway through as Tom Evans made a self-declared final public statement asking the protesters to stand down.

Tom said:

“Our lives have been turned upside down by the intense focus on Alfie and his situation.

Our little family, along with Alder Hey, has become the centre of attention for many people around the world, and it has meant we have not been able to live our lives as we would like.

We are very grateful, and we appreciate all the support we have received from around the world, including from our Italian and Polish supporters, who have dedicated their time and support to our incredible fight.

We would now ask you to return to your everyday lives and allow myself, Kate and Alder Hey to form a relationship, build a bridge and walk across it.

We also wish to thank Alder Hey staff at every level for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly difficult time for them too.

Together, we recognise the strains recent events have put upon us all, and we now wish for privacy for everyone concerned.

In Alfie’s interests, we will work with his treating team on a plan that provides our boy with the dignity and comfort he needs.

From this point onwards, there will be no more statements issued or interviews given.

We hope you will respect this.”

Tom’s statement was a stark shift from earlier comments in which he accused Alder Hey doctors of hating him and his family and behaving aggressively toward them for refusing to accept the doctors’ prognosis of Alfie. He made the statement after a lengthy talk with doctors about the prospect of taking Alfie home.

Tom also posted the statement to the Facebook page of Alfie’s Army Official, saying, “If this is how we get our son home, then please respect us. We ask you to continue to support, but no protesting or threats etc. toward staff. You have all been the most crucial part of our fight and we love you all.”

Transporting Alfie home with Tom and Kate would be impossible because of the hostility of protesters toward staff, hospital staff said previously in court. NHS staff at Royal Liverpool Hospital were also advised to hide their uniforms and ID while in public due to fears of hostility toward health workers in Merseyside over Alfie’s case.

Tom previously threatened to begin private prosecution of doctors involved in Alfie’s case, in the event of Alfie’s death, for alleged conspiracy to murder. London’s Italian embassy joined Tom in that threat, demanding hospital staff stop Alfie’s extubation on Monday or be reported for murder of an Italian citizen — since Italy granted Alfie citizenship. Hospital staff proceeded, however. Though they expected Alfie to die, he has survived and continues to breathe on his own.

Several other international sources have poured out support for Alfie in opposition to the U.K. judiciary’s consistent denial of his parents’ rights to have him treated abroad.

Pope Francis issued an appeal for the toddler. An Italian military air ambulance stood by in the U.K., ready to transport Alfie to Rome. Prayer vigils were held for Alfie in the Vatican.

Hospital staff had a German air ambulance crew escorted from the premises with police after they came to speak to the family and bring a ventilator. Polish President Andrzej Duda demanded over Twitter Alfie be saved. Some in U.K.’s Polish community flew Poland’s flag during protests for the child.

Senator Ted Cruz even weighed in on Alfie’s behalf and criticized the U.K.’s system of  socialized medicine in a series of tweets.

Alfie has lived 23 months on this Earth. When he will die or if he will die soon remains unclear, as he continues to breathe on his own. The toddler has defied the expectations of the U.K.’s medical system and the orders of its judiciary to “die with dignity.” Some supporters say, as evidenced by the outpouring support, he has in some ways brought the world together.

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