Alfie Evans: Time to build a bridge says boy's father

Group to gather outside Wrexham courts to show support for Alfie Evans

A British court rejected an appeal by the boy's parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, on Wednesday to take their son to Italy. So far, the similarities to the Charlie Gard ordeal in London previous year have been glaring: Charlie suffered brain damage; his doctors withheld treatment; his parents objected; two hospitals, including Bambino Gesù, offered to take him.

He said: "The cases of Charlie Gard, Aysha King, and now Alfie Evans, show a unsafe trend of public bodies depriving parents and families of the right to make decisions they believe are in the best interests of their children".

Alfie, who has a rare undiagnosed degenerative neurological condition, has been in Alder Hey since December 2016.

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

Prayer candles set up for baby Alfie.

The children's hospital trust shared an open letter last night, which said "remarkable staff" have been the target of "unprecedented personal abuse" as part of the Alfie Evans case.

On Wednesday Mr Evans had launched a private prosecution accusing three doctors treating his son of conspiracy to murder.

"Moved by the prayers and enormous 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", Pope Francis tweeted on April 23.

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"It is a grim reminder that systems of socialized medicine like the National Health Service (NHS) vest the state with power over human lives, transforming citizens into subjects", the senator said.

In a statement, he said: "Our lives have been turned upside down by the intense focus on Alfie and his situation". Pope Francis tweeted about the case and met with Evans to discuss the boy.

In Warsaw, supporters placed candles, teddy bears and notes in front of the British embassy.

The Court of Appeal upheld the ruling preventing the 23-month-old from travelling to Italy, yesterday.

Emotions have run high over the case, with a band of supporters protesting regularly outside the hospital, at times trying to storm its entrance.

"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".

"Having to carry on our usual day-to-day work in a hospital that has required a significant police presence just to keep our patients, staff and visitors safe is completely unacceptable", the hospital's chairman, Sir David Henshaw, and chief executive Louise Shepherd said.

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

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