Observations of an Irishman: Lessons from Alder Hey Hospital and the fight for Alfie Evans

Today, media and social media are filled with shiny irrelevant objects that catch our attention and spur lively “debates.” We talk about Stormy Daniels, listen to an FBI director hawk a book about “honor,” celebrate the Royal wedding and discuss who is and is not invited.

Can we have a discussion about something more meaningful?

There is a major story in the UK that is only now starting to get mainstream attention and it affects everyone in America and around the world. It is the account of young Alfie Evans who is fighting for his life. I want to tell you why this matters and what everyone in America can learn from it.

Who Is Alfie?

You may remember the tragic saga of Charlie Gard who we lost last year. Alfie Evans is in a very similar situation, and if we do nothing, we will also lose him.

Alfie is the baby boy of Tom Evans (21) and Kate James (20). Over his first few months on this planet, young Alfie missed several key developmental milestones. After catching a chest infection, he was admitted to Alder Hey Hospital in December 2016 and sadly has never left. To this day, doctors have not diagnosed him with any illness (apart from saying he has severe brain damage), and now want to want to remove his life support machines because it is supposedly "unfair" on Alfie.

Photo credit: Thomas Evans

The Pope has gotten involved several times, pleading for Alfie's life and there is an open offer from the Vatican-linked Bambino Hospital in Rome to care for and to try to diagnose him. But the hospital refuses to release Alfie. Earlier this week, Italy officially gave Alfie Italian citizenship, but this changed nothing. His parents have gone to every court possible, starting with local courts and all the way to the European Courts to fight for Alfie's right to life, but at every juncture, they have sided with the doctors and Alder Hey.

There are countless issues and principles to be discussed, including:

  • Is life precious?
  • Is life worth fighting for?
  • Parental rights?
  • Socialized medicine
  • How doctors and judges are NOT GODS
  • Why doesn't the media care?

I have been following these events very closely for several weeks, and on Monday, I traveled to Liverpool for the day to find the truth. Here is what I learned.

Shocking Absence

I arrived at Alder Hey around 10 am, and found a group of people playing music off a portable speaker, which was connected to an iPhone (or iPod), and singing along in the park beside the hospital. Among the popular songs played throughout the day was "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias and "Simply the Best" by Tina Turner. The group used famous chants and songs and adapted the words to include Alfie.

Behind the group were several banners and posters of support for Alfie, including a tall picture of Jesus with the words, “I stand with you.”

Where are the Protestant pastors? Where are any religious leaders? Why are they silent?

I am a quiet and reserved person at the best of times, so I stayed quiet, respectful and simply observed. This did not last long. A gentleman came up to me and asked if I was a priest (I wear a cross a lot), and I told him I was not a priest but that I do my best to share the word as a Christian. This started several conversations with a common question no one knew the answer to --- where are the Catholic priests? The Pope spoke out for Alfie --- where are they? Where are the Protestant pastors? Where are any religious leaders? Why are they silent?

Every time I heard this comment, one phrase kept repeating in my mind: “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself.”

Photo credit: Thomas Evans

When you research the account of Alfie, I hope you realize the magnitude of work we must do to fix our broken society. If you are reading this and are a Christian, I really hope you understand why we must lead by example and get OUR HOUSE in order. We can rightly point blame at others, including doctors, judges, laws or socialism, but where are the leaders of the Church stepping up to make a difference and be the leaders? Remember we are told in scriptures to worry about the log in our eye before worrying about the speck in another’s eye.

Media Bias

The media is something to behold when you see them up close. It was clear from looking at them, they had an agenda and that agenda had little to do with standing up to this injustice. Sadly, pro-life issues don’t equal ratings, and this is a reflection of our society. A small scattering of media --- nothing compared to the press camped outside another hospital waiting on the birth of a prince --- were there to do the bare minimum and wait for something “news-worthy” to report.

Sadly, they got what they wanted on Monday.

The people protesting are very passionate and care deeply about Alfie and his family. I believe they are there are many reasons --- in part because they want justice, in part because they know politicians have forgotten about them and don’t care about them so they are rallying around as a community, but also because they know this could happen to any of them or their children and they know they would not want to be alone.

We were told by the family Alfie's life support machines were going to be turned off at 1:30 pm. People were filled with emotions ranging from hurt, despair, frustration and anger that this was actually going to happen. With a minute to go, they felt they were out of options and I heard someone near me say, "we have to do something" --- ever hear that argument before? "Let's run and storm the hospital."

As soon as this started, a quiet media went into over-drive, took their pictures and videos and started typing their stories, highlighting how these people charged the hospital. After reading many reports online, it is clear those there did not see, did not care or just ignored the facts.

Roughly half of the people protesting did not storm the hospital, but shouted loudly using colorful language to “come back,” “there are sick children in there.” I was alone, so I did not get recording right at the start, but I started a Facebook Live so we have the proof, which you can view here:

I am not defending the decision to storm the hospital (it is not something I would do). Look at this video and ask yourself an honest question --- do the majority look like they are storming the beaches of Normandy, or more like following the crowd because a group decided it was a good idea to go to the hospital doors?

Hard Life Questions

This whole experience has been life-changing for me. I have despised politics for a long time. I am blessed with a weekly show on TheBlaze where my focus is based on eternal principles and trying to find self-evident truths. People in America and around the world spend so much time focused on politics, which for many includes supporting the answers their side is currently promoting, automatically assuming the other is wrong and then condemning them as stupid and evil.

Photo credit: Thomas Evans

If we continue on this path, we will dehumanize the individual to a point where we only see the humanity and show empathy to those who agree with us. This will lead to balkanization, sides will weaken, extremes will gain attention and eventually, a strong man will take charge. If you don’t believe this, take a journey through history.

On Monday I spent 12 plus hours with protestors outside Alder Hey standing for Alfie’s right to life. We did not discuss any politics, but if we did, I would have been shocked if even one person I met shared any of my principles when it comes to the size of government and basic economic issues. I am sure many who attended might have even openly described themselves as socialist, and I am sure some would have said they don’t like Donald Trump and America. If your priorities are helping a young baby for the fight for life, does any of this matter?

Yesterday, we stood together as one (despite our disagreements) to stand for a common uniting principle.

Yesterday, we stood together as one (despite our disagreements) to stand for a common uniting principle: Alfie Evans and his parents' right to decide what is best for their children, their right to a second opinion and to seek additional treatment. These are all eternal principles. Imagine what we could achieve if we stopped looking for the Right-wing or Left-wing principles and focused entirely on basic human principles or the principles of nature’s law.

Or, we can continue to have teams, see everyone who has a different opinion as the enemy and seek to destroy them --- and then we ALL lose.

It Could Never Happen in America

This story should be a wakeup call for everyone, because it can and will happen anywhere, including America. If you know anything about me, I hope you know how much I love America. That being said, sometimes some people have an arrogance that thinks America is different, and that things like that could never happen. Please do not believe this line.

The situation in America is very similar to the UK, and BOTH parties are to blame. The government has been expanding into your health care for decades now with George W. Bush expanding Medicare, Obama introducing Obamacare and now, the GOP running on repeal and doing nothing. You combine this with a $21 TRILLION (as in $21,000,000,000,000) national debt, Congress's refusal to enforce basic budging principles like a balanced budget amendment, and judges ruling more and more with the side of government. This is the path both parties have put you on and if you don’t act soon, these stories could and will start happening in America.

Helping Alfie

If you are touched by this and want to help, please see below ways you can help:

  • If you are a person of faith, please pray for young Alfie, for his family and that doctors and judges see the error of their ways. We have witnessed a MIRACLE already. Doctors said when Alfie’s life support was switched off he would only survive a few minutes --- here we are nearly 48 hours later and Alfie is still fighting.
  • Please do your own homework and share it with as many people as possible. We need as many eyes and ears on this as possible to touch hearts. (Here is an 8-minute fact-based audio clip on the subject.)
  • Lastly, if you are in a position to financially help the family, please consider making a donation right now.

Keep the prayers coming, let's hope this miracle is the spark to make a change and turn the world to the side of life.

Jonathon Dunne is an Irishman with a lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen. After waiting for over 13 years, Dunne received a job offer from Glenn Beck so he could achieve his dream, but unfortunately, he did not meet the requirements to apply for a visa. Unless laws change or Dunne decides to break the law (he won't), his American dream is dead. Despite this setback, he still loves America and seeks to be a positive influence on society by promoting the idea of America and God-given freedoms. While on a recent vacation, Dunne delivered sixteen presentations (for free) in eight different states across the U.S. During this time, he kept notes and we asked him to share some of his experiences. As you read the column below, imagine the words are being spoken in a thick, Irish accent. If you're having trouble imagining how that sounds, you can hear it for yourself by tuning into Dunne's free weekly podcast, "Freedom's Disciple," on TheBlaze Radio, available on SoundCloud, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Pla

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