Alfie Evans and the Unpopular Opinion
I haven’t really wanted to write about Alfie Evans. But last night, after being unable to escape the coverage all day, I actually broke down and shed a tear over it (seriously, ask Pete – he looked at me like I was mad). But I had to vent my feelings.
This case has really upset me. That poor little baby (because he is a baby – he’s been in this state since he was 7 months old) has been turning into a vegetable for the last 16 months. Slowly, his brain matter has turned to mulch. I’m not trying to be sensationalist, but that’s what happens with a degenerative brain disease, regardless of whether or not they’ve seen it before and have a name for it. His brain no longer works and is just matter. His organs still work because his brain stem is still connected to his spinal cord, but that won’t last forever.
I feel so, so awful for his parents. It must be devastating, to watch your son dying and being told there is nothing doctors can do to prolong his life naturally. It must be horrid, having your child hooked up to machines and knowing that, for the rest of his life, he will need them to live. Even the palliative care that the Vatican are offering them means he will need to be hooked up to machines to survive. He will never again know the scent of his mother’s skin, or the taste of his favourite food (Stevie’s was melon at 7 months, and still is now). He’ll never learn how it feels to beat everyone to the car in the morning, or take his first wee on the toilet, or pet a dog and be licked on the face. He will never get the chance to be the child his parents had rightfully imagined and wished he would be.
I understand their hurt and devastation. The picture of Alfie’s mum holding him, after the life support was turned off, broke my heart. Because all mothers (and fathers) should be able to hold their children. They shouldn’t have to watch them die alone in a hospital bed.
I can only hope, that if were ever in that horrible, horrible situation, Pete, or my mum or his mum, would say the words I’d need to hear – not want to hear, but need to. I only hope they would say “enough, now.” Because, in that situation, those three voices would be the only ones I would trust.
I hope Mr. Evans realises this is the case, soon, and turns off his phone. I hope he shuts himself in a room with his little family and just holds his little boy and his partner. They need to hold each other until they can’t any more. Because the day will be here, probably very soon, and I hate to think that he will have missed those moments.
I have chosen not to post any pictures or photographs of Alfie or his family. I hope this will be understood.