Charlie Gard’s mum is helping a young family in a race against time to save a coma toddler given “just days to live” by doctors who say he should be “allowed to die”.
Alfie Evans has been in a coma with a mystery illness for eight months and experts think he might have a mitochondrial condition – the same as Charlie.
His distraught family claim medics at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital have given him days to live and told his parents to “withdraw life support” to “allow him to die peacefully”.
His devastated parents Thomas Evans, 20, and Kate James, 19, have launched a campaign to raise £50,000 to get him treatment abroad before it’s too late.
His aunt Sarah Evans said doctors at the Liverpool hospital are “hiding under a bush” for fear of a backlash in the wake of the Charlie Gard case.
But she claims his mum Connie Yates has been “brilliant” in offering the family invaluable advice on fundraising and mitochondria specialists.
In a strikingly similar case, photos show little Alfie in a coma on his hospital bed with a tube up his nose.
But the family want to get him abroad to see a specialist “before UK courts interfere in this case”.
In a statement, the family from Liverpool said: “The doctors have indicated that his parents should withdraw life support and ‘allow him to die peacefully’ because that’s ‘in his best interest’.”
His dad Thomas, from Liverpool, added: “We are fighting tooth and nail to save our baby son while he is ignored and denied opportunities.
“Alfie has brain function – he is not in a vegetative state – he is not brain dead.
“He has a future and a life in front of him to live. He hasn’t given up and neither are we.
“We spend every waking precious moment with him. We love him so much. He is our world.
“He is currently intubated and has a ventilator helping him to breathe, but is also seen by doctors and family taking breaths himself.
“He has come off life support three times and shown he can manage a maximum of 13 days without the ventilator.
“We believe that there is someone out there who knows and can help us find out what is wrong with Alfie, so that we may create and follow a proper medical plan of care for him.
“We believe that our son is a precious gift that we are blessed with and we have been given him for a reason, to get him through whatever life throws at him and us.”
Baby Alfie Evans, who is 13 months old, was born perfectly healthy but in his first seven months missed numerous developmental milestones, his family said.
He started making “jerking, seizure-like movements” and was taken to the doctors, but his parents were told he was was “lazy and a late developer”, the family claim.
But he caught a chest infection that caused seizures and was placed on life support at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in December 2016.
His parents were told he wasn’t going to make it – but he fought back to beat the infection, and started breathing on his own.
However he caught another chest infection and had to go back on a ventilator when he began having more chronic seizures.
His family have been told his condition may be a mitochondrial one – the same type of condition that killed baby Charlie Gard just a month ago – but docs are unsure.
And now his aunt says the seizures are coming in clusters – and are taking a serious toll on Alfie.
“He’s on a very rapid decline at the moment, and you can tell he’s exhausted from the seizures,”
The family are liaising with a solicitor in America and have made contact with medical experts in Italy, Munich and Utah who may be able to help Alfie.
Sarah said: “At this point we’re literally grasping at any leads we can get – but the doctors seem to just be leaving him to die.
“We’ve been told to make him comfortable – they seem to think he’s going to give up by himself in the next few days. His heart has dropped to 40-something beats.
“The doctors aren’t trying anything that Thomas keeps pushing for.
“Thomas is constantly pushing for the doctors to try CBD, a drug that has been proven to work for other children with similar symptoms to Alfie.
“But nothing is happening. It’s just not fair. At the moment it’s just a case of waiting to see if anyone is able to draw up a plan of action.”
The family has launched an Alfie’s Army Facebook page which has 33,000 members, and have raised more than £17,000 via an online funding page.
In a statement on the page, Alfie’s dad Thomas thanked members for their “outrageous determination and support”.