Born to parents Kate James and Tom Evans, Alfie was hospitalized in December 2016 after suffering seizures. He was subsequently diagnosed with a degenerative neurological condition and remained in a semi-vegetative state at the Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, England.
Poor little Alfie Evans is no more, but the circumstances surrounding his case are suspicious, to say the least. Unless you have been living under a rock and didn't hear about the Alfie Evans case, then you should know that after spending more than a year in the hospital, the little boy passed away on April 28th, 2018.
A battle between the parents and the doctors then ensued, with the parents trying to transfer their son to Italy for special treatments in the hopes of prolonging his life. The case got all the way to the High Court in Liverpool, which refused their request. The parents never gave up their fight, but out of all the details that have come to light since their case went viral all the way to now, there are 20 major facts that we simply can't move past.
Is there a reason for which the hospital put up as big of a fight as they did? And what will happen to the Christian pro-life organization that had been sent to "counsel" the Evans family to fight for their child's life against all odds?
20 Should Doctors Be Allowed To Play God?
It's not uncommon to have to deal with doctors who simply won't listen to a word we say and continue to force their "medical opinion" on us. But is that what happened in the Alfie Evans' case?
As the parents were desperate for a solution and they were getting inadequate answers in the UK, they were ecstatic when an Italian hospital offered to help Alfie with special treatments, hoping to prolong his life.
Their joy was quickly squashed though as Alfie's doctors agreed that it wouldn't be in the child's best interest. According to the BBC, UK doctors agreed that further treatments would be "futile".
They also added: "continued ventilator support is not in Alfie's best interests and in the circumstances it is not lawful that such treatment continue."
Quite eyebrow-raising statements, but also some that would stab any parent in the heart. Retaining hope under such circumstances would be next to impossible, but the Evans family actually had a pro-life supporter fly out from Italy and make camp in the UK in an effort to help (more on that later).
These statements came on the heels for Alfie Evans having been at the hospital on a ventilator for over a year already. Although his parents tried relentlessly to bring him home or fly him out to Italy for treatments, doctors refused each time, saying it wouldn't be in "Alfie's best interests."
Do the doctors or the parents know what's in the best interests of the child?
19 'Not Terminal', Says Polish Doctor
Having spent much of 2017 battling the system for a chance to get their son additional treatment, Tom Evans and Kate James reportedly turned to just about anyone and any country willing to offer a different diagnosis than the one that their UK hospital have given them.
According to Express.co.uk, Polish pediatrician and children's oncologist Dr. Izabela Palgan diagnosed Alfie in January and came to a drastically different conclusion. She reportedly said, "The doctors at the hospital in Liverpool have approached the High Court for permission to unplug the child from his life support machinery, claiming it will be in his best interests. But the child is not a dying child. On the Paediatric Glasgow Coma Scale the child ranks at about eight to nine points, so this is not a case of brain death."
Being granted the permission to take him home and care for him by themselves is technically all the parents ever wanted. They just wanted the freedom of deciding what was best for their child. But were they right? This Polish doctor was just one voice in their corner, whereas countless other doctors put their licenses on the line by remaining firm in diagnosing him as having no living future whatsoever.
18 Parents Saw Him Smile
Convinced that there was hope for their son, his father Tom Evans said, "Some people say it’s a miracle, it’s not a miracle, it’s a misdiagnosis." In particular, he made this claim because they were convinced that little Alfie could respond to them and would even smile. There are indeed pictures of him smiling, but the question on everyone's minds has always been whether they are real smiles.
On top of the shocking claim that Dr. Izabela Palgan from Poland made, she also added:
"The child reacts to his father’s voice and periodically opens his eyes. Periodically the boy also clenches his mouth when given a dummy, therefore he shows reactions. The parents have absolutely stated the child communicates with them when they speak to him – they feel the child somehow feels their emotions and can emotionally connect with them.
Certainly this is not a dying child. In Poland and I think in other European countries as well, children like this are simply taken care of with palliative care or home care.”
Two days before his passing, Tom showed a picture of little Alfie smiling, saying, "Look at the smile. Look at the smile. I said to them reduce the drugs and reduce the ventilator and he will breathe.”
17 'Just Seizures', Says Another Doctor
As reported by BBC, Professor Helen Cross said after examining that "he only displayed brain activity when he was having seizures". Not only did she say that this was irreversible, but also, "Prolonging his life unnecessarily is not a way to go considering his brain is being progressively destroyed and there is no prospect of recovery."
Mirror.co.uk also reported,
the court heard in February that Alfie would suffer seizures 95% of the time, with 80% off the seizures being "triggered by touch."
Based on this, Justice Anthony Hayden concluded that: "the absolute consensus was that Alfie will die' and that 'we must assume' that Alfie is in pain."
Despite the tremendous backlash that has come of this case, it's clear that the court made a heart-wrenching decision that wasn't easy for anyone involved. A physiotherapist that had been called to give their medical opinion said that they "sometimes questioned whether what they were doing for Alfie was in his best interest."
The basis agreement was that no one could know if keeping Alfie alive was also keeping him in pain. The physiotherapist added: "It’s very difficult. Physiotherapy is necessary to keep his lungs clear, to remove mucus so we can adequately ventilate him. It is challenging, as it’s not a nice position to be in. I don’t know if Alfie is any discomfort. I can’t say 100% Alfie is not in discomfort or pain."
16 An Icon For Anti-Vaxxers In The U.S.
Leave it up to anti-vaxxers in the US to take a small child's case and run with it to promote their own agendas. As you'll read later on, they weren't the only group to do so either. If you look up Alfie Evans' name in connection to vaccines, many fake news sites pop up, but it doesn't mean that any of them are real. Not only that, but lots of people were quick to jump on this controversial bandwagon on Facebook, writing slews of comments about how Alfie Evans' plight was due to a reaction to his vaccinations.
According to an anti-vaccination group that many quoted relentlessly: "Alfie's issues started around the same time as his baby vaccines. His issues started with seizures...typical side effect of vaccines."
In particular, many were concerned that the hospital was deliberately killing the child to avoid giving these parents a vaccine damage payment before Alfie would have turned two years old. This is a highly contentious claim to make for sure and one that we will likely never know the truth about, but the fact remains that the parents have never attributed Alfie's condition to vaccine damage. It would definitely be a complete game-changer if they ever did.
15 Missed Milestones As Of 7 Months
While it might be easy to attribute Alfie's condition being as a result of vaccine injury, there's one major fact that sadly stands in the way of this argument. On top of the parents never saying that it was because of his vaccination, there is also the fact that they were quite vocal about the timeline of their son's condition.
In a note that Tom Evans wrote and shared with all of their supporters on Facebook, he outlined: "Alfie was born healthy and on time. He was discharged after 3 days and from there, our wait was over. We finally had him with us going home, our beautiful boy. This was a day we looked forward to for 9 months. He grew and fed well, but didn't meet milestones. Alfie was a very sleepy baby who loved his sleep and when he was awake he was an agitated baby".
Although it's a long read, it's an important one because it shows that even before Alfie Evans ever received his vaccinations, he was already showing sorrowful signs.
He continued: "After a couple of weeks we noticed he wasn't doing things he should e.g lifting his head up, looking at us for more than 20 seconds, grabbing his dummy, eating his hands, making gaga noises, etc. We also noticed he was doing a jerking movement with his hands, arms and legs and eyes would roll up. He always had his hands clenched into a fist too. He just didn't do what he should of been doing so Kate took him the doctors, overall three times, and doctors said he was lazy and a late developer. Months went by and Alfie went backward instead of forwards. He started making more jerking movement and wasn't himself at all! This went on until Alfie got a chest infection. The infection led him to have a myoclonic jerking spasm."
14 The Hostage Note
Just a couple of days before Alfie's passing, his father did something completely out of character. Whereas previously, he had often spoken up about the unfair treatment that his son was receiving at the mercy of the hospital and the court system, he posted a picture of a letter that he and Alfie's mother had supposedly written.
After thanking all of their supporters, including numerous countries that had spoken up favorably towards them, they wrote: "We also wish to thank Alder Hay staff at every level for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly difficult time for them too. Together we recognize the strains recent events have put upon us all, and we now wish for privacy for everyone concerned."
If something smells fishy, then it probably is. This apparently emerged with this "personal" letter after a meeting with the hospital's doctors. Many were quick to point out over social media circles that previously to this formal statement, neither Tom, nor Kate had ever printed out official letters like that, always speaking from the heart instead.
This official statement also came on the heels of Metro.co.uk reporting that the hospital staff had been instructed to hide their uniforms when on their way to and from work. Very curious indeed. As a result, many dubbed the statement a "gag letter" meant to silence them. Were they paid to do it?
13 From 160 To 15 In Just Two Hours
On a Facebook page entitled "Alfie Evans little warrior" created to spread the word about the little boy's case, a chilling post was made, presumably by the parents, just two days after Alfie passed away.
It read: "Assassins. Chilling this is just one of the steps. Two hours before dying the oxygen saturation was at 98 and Alfie's beats were 160, so that Thomas was convinced that they would let him go home soon (as the hospital administration had told him on Friday afternoon). Before dying, while Thomas had gone out for a moment, leaving Kate half-awake and another family member in the room, a nurse entered and explained that he would give the baby four drugs (no one knows what) to treat him. After about 30 minutes the saturation dropped to 15. Two hours later Alfie was dead."
According to LifeSiteNews.com, little Alfie was injected with a four-part cocktail just hours before he passed away: "Alder Hey hospital doctors had previously conveyed to the Evans’ family in a legal document how they intended to use a drug cocktail that included Midazolam and Fentanyl as part of Alfie’s “end of life care plan.” Side effects of the drugs included respiratory depression. Tom Evans called it an “execution plan” for his son."
12 Hospital With A Controversial Past
Was the hospital right or wrong in refusing to help Alfie Evans and accommodate his parents' requests? The courts certainly sided with the UK doctors, but it's actually not the first time that the Alder Hey Hospital has come under fire for its unethical practices. Alder Hey is the same hospital where Alfie Evans was kept for over a year.
Between 1988 and 1995, Alder Hey Hospital, was caught repurposing bio-matter from young patients. BBC reported in 2011 that Alder Hey Hospital was not the only hospital "recycling" bio-matter, another children's hospital was involved as well.
It's truly as horrifying as it sounds, especially since most parents had not given their consent for this procedure to be carried out. BBC reported that a distraught mother said at the time: "We thought that we had a Christian burial, but found that they had kept a lot of his organs. I was really annoyed that we had to have the third funeral."
By 2004, Independent.co.uk had reported that Alder Hey's contentious organ thefts weren't just confined to body parts: "Lots of people are not aware that they kept actual babies, after miscarriages or still births. They have identified babies in there."
11 The Charlie Gard Case
Before the Alfie Evans case, there was the Charlie Gard case, also in the UK. Although Charlie had been diagnosed with a different condition, both cases resemble each other. Unlike Alfie, Charlie was born with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which leads to brain damage. Although the parents wanted to try experimental treatments, the courts sided with the doctors in that life support should be pulled and palliative care should be provided. Little Charlie was eventually transferred to a hospice, where his ventilation was turned off. He died the next day on July 28th, 2017.
Express.co.uk reported that when asked about how they have been coping since Charlie's passing, his dad replied: "Extremely tough, obviously we’ve lost our little boy but since Charlie was born he became the centre of my universe. To this day he is still the absolute centre of our universe."
Unlike Alfie's dad, Charlie dad also brought up a very good point about the high media attention that both of their cases received:
"It’s not rare at all, well it is because normally parents come to an agreement with hospital staff before it gets to that stage."
"Its very hard for anyone who has lost a child, a young child, and anyone who has removed ventilation from their child," he added.
10 Two Sides To Every Story
As anyone can imagine, opinions on the Alfie Evans case were absolutely divided for months. People quite literally lost their minds in the comments section of any Facebook post and accusations flew left and right. Amidst all this, it was clear that supporters were divided into two starkly opposing corners. While some were convinced that the hospital and the courts were failing little Alfie, many more were in complete agreement over the way that it was being handled.
An anonymous Facebook user wrote an opinion that many articulated as well in other words: "I'm actually disgusted at the parents, they're not the only ones to have gone through this, terminal means no cure, yet all you heard them do was blame the hospital and talk to the media, it's unfortunate but it happens to many people and no doctors can perform miracles, I wonder how much they've made out of all this., let's wait for the TV interviews, book and god knows what else. People die everyday from something incurable, deal with it, don't blame the rest of the world. It's sad but its life."
Although harsh, the point made here does make a ton of sense.
9 On The Flip Side
Conversely, another Facebook user shared a completely different point of view: "USA here....this is socialized tyranny, not medicine. Please....don't let Alfies death be in vain! Don't continue to subject yourself and your children to these government abuses. Rise up! Demand reform. Start a revolution. History teaches all of us that these kind of governments don't stop abusing their power. They only increase it. Don't let that happen. Any government that assumes the right to decide life and death in such a manner must be cast off and overthrown. Any government that censors free speech through social media during such an event is corrupt."
This viewpoint, in particular, was articulated by many other Facebook users and members of baby and parenting groups worldwide. With a high-profile case such as this one, it's difficult to not be either black or white with it. There isn't much grey area when it comes to a little baby and his parents fighting the court system relentlessly in what they believe to be right. Ultimately, we will likely never the entire truth with this case as there are just too many contentious facts and issues. With conspiracy theorists abounding left and right, any opinion is hard to form with regards to a case such as this one.
8 Improper Care
Although the pictures have been steadily getting erased from the web, just a few days prior to Alfie's passing, supporters were in an uproar when evidence of inadequate care by the hospital began to circulate. Pictures showed that there was mold in his ventilator, his face was full of snot and was soaked in his own pee all the way up to the chest. Many have tried to argue that the last point isn't that surprising given that he wouldn't have had control of his bladder, but the first two points are definitely sources of concern.
In response, Alder Hey Hospital maintained that they hadn't given up on Alfie.
According to LiverPoolEcho.co.uk, they said: "We haven’t ‘given up’ on Alfie. We have a team at Alder Hey of the very best neurologists who have made every effort to investigate and find a way to treat Alfie. Because Alder Hey is a specialist centre we have good links with other centres and at an early stage we obtained external opinions to try and inform his treatment."
Having mold develop in a ventilator tube is never a good sign though. This is especially since there is still a picture of little Alfie circulating with burns on his lips.
7 Even The Pope Got Involved
You know a case reaches controversial levels when the Pope gets involved. Amidst all the drama that Alfie Evans' parents had to go through between the hospital doctors and the court systems relentlessly denying their requests, both Italy and the Pope became entangled in the case as well.
According to CNN, "it was suggested that Alfie could be transported to Rome's Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital" for treatments to prolong his life. "However, a subsequent visit to Alfie and consultation with his doctors led the Roman doctors to conclude that the child's condition is irreversible and untreatable, according to a statement from Alder Hey," they also reported.
Before reportedly withdrawing their invitation, Italy had also granted Alfie Evans an Italian citizenship in an effort to get the UK court system to release him over to them. Even the Pope got involved after Alfie's father traveled to Italy to meet with him.
The Pope tweeted on April 23rd 2018: "Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted".
None of this is ever easy on those involved, but to have Italy go so far as to offer citizenship is particularly unheard of, showing the uniqueness of this case.
6 The European Court Weighed In As Well
As with most stories that go viral over social media, it's difficult not to side with the parents when we hear about their struggles and their relentless pleas to simply save their child. The Alfie Evans case is particularly heart-wrenching because of all the details involved, especially since combined, they don't paint a clear-cut case. We all know the struggle of being told "no" by the court system. Maintaining hope in such situations is beyond difficult, especially when as parents, we just want our kids to make a full recovery and be well. The truth can be hard to accept and there is something to be said about how Alfie Evans' parents absolutely never gave up.
As reported by Metro.co.uk, after losing their fight in the High Court, and even in the Court of Appeal, as well as the Supreme Court, then then tried to ask the judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Unfortunately, the ECHR, "rejected the application" based on it being "inadmissible" as they found no evidence of any human rights violation.
Some might argue that the fact that all those doctors, as well as multiple court proceedings all rejected their efforts says a lot about Alfie Evans' health condition.
5 A Call For AR-15s In The U.S.
On top of using Alfie Evans' case to promote an anti-vaccinations campaign, it was also used in another much more horrific and out-of-context way. So if you see it being promoted over social media, please know that it's completely irrelevant to the little boy who lost his life.
Just a couple of days before Alfie's passing, former Republican Joe Walsh for the State of Illinois tweeted:
"'Why does an American need an AR-15?' To make sure what's happening to #AlfieEvans never happens here. That's why."
As crazy of an association as this is to make, it does point to a much more problematic and bigger issue. As Vox pointed out: "When the view of the state and the view of a child’s parents are at odds, who gets to have the final say? The answer ties into wider questions — about medical ethics and what it means for a life to be “not worth living,” and about popular trust, or lack thereof, in the UK’s National Health Service, a paradigmatic example of both the pros and cons of socialized medicine. The question at stake in the Alfie Evans story, in other words, isn’t just should we let the state decide? It’s do we trust the state at all?"
4 Parents Told They Need To Face Reality
In a Facebook post, Alfie's father voice his outrage at the situation by saying: "Transferring our stable son MAY be a risk?? But removing his life support and letting him suffocate and die isn't?????!!!! Where's the logic in that? THEY SAY I NEED TO FACE REALITY!! I've been living through it for 15 months. Me and Kate accept our son is going to die but when don't [know], so it's only our responsibility to let him outlive his remainder with as much dignity love and defection as possible. It's not over!!!!"
This was in response to Italy rescinding their invitation after being deemed that it was too dangerous to move him due to his epilepsy. According to The Sun, the little boy "survived for five days after being take off life support."
According to some reports, his father may even have tried to give him mouth-to-mouth when the situation became particularly dire. Not only had the ventilator been turned off for him, but so was his food supply. The question on everyone's minds is whether the hospital did everything they could to help little Alfie? Unfortunately, it sounds like they may have simply decided that the case wasn't worth spending resources on as it appeared hopeless.
3 The Case Of Noah Wall
Another big case that was massively supported by the Alfie Evans Army is the case of Noah Wall. According to the Daily Mail, the little boy, who was four years old in 2017, learned to count after surviving a brain condition that destroyed 98% of his brain. You read that right: operating with just 2% of his brain, little Noah learned to count at just four years old! If that isn't incredible, we don't know what it is.
But his story is also another huge reason for the massive conspiracy theorists that surrounded the Alfie Evans case.
If Noah could pull through, then why wouldn't doctors give Alfie a chance? The circumstances of the cases are completely different though, so that is likely a huge contributing factor.
The Dail Mail also revealed that Noah: "has learned how to count to ten, and can hold a pen steady to trace the letters of his name". His mom had also added: "You can see the excitement, and he knows that he had done something amazing... he amazes us everyday".
2 Were The Parents In Denial?
In another Facebook post, Alfie's father wrote: "Absolutely vile 😒. Just asked the nurse to as a sister in charge for a couch for Kate to sleep on, DENIED!!!! The lengths this hospital is taking is so wrong in so many ways."
It's hard not to sympathize with a statement like that, but many would also wonder if perhaps after over a year at the hospital, the parents were in denial. Undoubtedly, seeing their little boy smile and clench his little hand gave them false hope. Attracting the media's attention and subsequently acquiring countless supporters over social media and even garnering international attention may have blinded them.
Even without the uproar, as parents, we can sympathize with what they went through. Ultimately, no parents should be forced to take their child off a ventilator. It's an impossible choice to as the parents to make as our natural instinct is to do everything we can to help our children.
Even in the case of countless medical professionals, stats, articles, and whatever else, all we want to do is believe that our kids will pull through and be a medical anomaly that survived. Just look at Noah Wall, who defied all medical odds.
1 Investigation Incoming For Christian Organization
According to The Guardian, "the Christian campaign group that acted for the family of Alfie Evans could face an investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the Guardian has learned".
The reason for this sounds like a movie plot. After hearing about Alfie Evans' case, Christine Broesamle, an American "pro-life" activitist based in Italie contacted the sorrow-stricken parents to advise them. As reported by The Guardian: "Her friends were advising Charlie’s parents about flying him to Italy for treatment, she said, and the same could be done for Alfie. Unsurprisingly, Evans took up her offer of help."
Not only that, but they also uncovered a deeper plot: "Broesamle, who was named in court this week after six months of keeping out of the spotlight in Britain, is connected to the Italian “pro-lifer” network Giuristi per la Vita (Lawyers for Life), whose president has spoken about “secretly” advising Charlie Gard’s parents before his death on 28 July last year."
Finally, "When contacted by the Guardian, Broesamle declined to speak on the record about the case, saying “one wrong move and it goes nuts and the hospital really hates me because I’ve worked so hard for Alfie’s defence”.
Not much news yet as to what is going on with this crazy uncovering, but we'll keep you posted.
References: Facebook, BBC, Express.co.uk, LifeSiteNews, Mirror.co.uk, JustGiving.com, BBC, Express.co.uk, Metro.co.uk, LiverpoolEcho.uk, Twitter, CNN, Vox, TheSun.co.uk, Daily Mail, The Guardian, and Daily Mail.