Alfie Evans: Sick toddler 'breathing' as life support ends, father says

Alfie Evans death plan part 2 copy

The father of Alfie Evans, a seriously ill toddler at the heart of a much publicised United Kingdom court battle over his condition, has said his son's life support has been turned off.

Speaking outside Alder Hey an hour earlier, Tom said doctors have been left "gobsmacked" by Alfie's progress after his life support was withdrawn.

"In this way, the Italian government wants the Italian citizenship to enable the child's immediate transfer to Italy", said a statement from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

All legal avenues appeared to have been exhausted for the family until a further hearing by Mr Justice Hayden was announced earlier on Tuesday at the Family Division of the High Court in Manchester.

A judge dismissed fresh submissions heard in private from lawyers representing Alfie's parents, Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, yesterday evening.

Pic: 1. Police block protesters from the entrance to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool after the European Court of Human Rights rejected an appeal against the decision to end life-support for Alfie Evans.

Acknowledging it is a "desperately sad case", they said that while Alfie looks like a normal baby, the unanimous opinion of the doctors who have examined him and the scans of his brain is that nearly all of his brain has been destroyed. "If it is not an emergency, please attend your local GP or visit your walk-in centre".

It added: "Our Emergency Department is still open, however only attend if you have an accident or emergency that requires urgent care".

The hospital said it would "not be issuing any updates on his condition". This is our normal and agreed practice with all our patients.

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Parents Tom Evans and Kate James have lost a series of legal challenges to continue treatment for the 23-month-old, who has a degenerative neurological condition.

The children's hospital also urged people not to contact its staff or switchboard seeking news about the youngster.

'But we do need him to be supported ... in the next hour it's going to be hard but we will need him to be supported in the next hour or two. "Thank you for your continued cooperation".

The Facebook page "Alfie's Army Official", ran by members of the family, reported on Tuesday morning that Alfie managed to breathe on his own for hours despite doctors believing he would only survive for minutes without life support.

They want him to be flown for treatment to a hospital in Rome that has links with the Vatican.

Mr Justice Hayden said he accepted medical evidence which showed that further treatment was futile.

His case has been highlighted by the Pope, who expressed support for the couple, and he has been granted Italian citizenship. Well look at him now. "He's not even on a ventilator and he's not suffering", he said.

Mr Evans told journalists that after life-support was withdrawn, Alfie continued breathing and doctors agreed to give him oxygen and water.

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