Archive for April, 2018

The Cost of a Life

Posted in Current affairs, education, health, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2018 by kathydasilva

alfie evans

It does not matter, to me, the complexity of someone’s illness, or ailment. It does not matter to me, how long it might take for someone to get well. It does not matter to me, if it might take a lot of adaptions, if someone is disabled. If it is a relative or son or daughter of mine, they have the life God gave to them, and I would love them no matter what happened. Our NHS has been under attack for so long, that now it is coming to this, who lives, and who dies. It is appalling that a specialist children’s hospital should end up, with a choice of ending care, in the way that the little toddler Alfie Evans long term care came to an abrupt final week, at Alder Hey, in Liverpool, England. Expected to die after the life support system was removed, and yet he breathed, and even opened his eyes. And he did so the whole of five days from the Monday to the Friday, apparently only succumbing to death due to no fluids or food being administered to him. He would have I am sure lived a little longer with the right amount of nutrition and food. It is impossible, to see why the hospital behaved as it did once the babe had actually survived the removal of the ventilator. Additionally the doctors would not release the baby to the care of a Vatican Hospital, where the entire family would have benefited from the prayer of a Christian community. Whether Alfie was destined to live, is not down to the bureaucrats who organize funding. The offer from the Vatican was for ‘free’, including transportation. So there is no excuse for the hospital staff to not have a heart. It would not have cost Alder Hey a penny to allow the parents to take up the offer from Pope Francis himself. I find myself angry, but, yet I am not the one hurt, or punished. I am not the baby allowed to starve. I am not the parent who had to watch, and hope someone would come with a passport out of the hospital. They had arranged it that Saturday would be the home going day, but the parents had thought it would be with a live baby. So what went wrong? And was that the gruesome (sea change) that doctors expected both Kate and Thomas to accept, that a baby could only go home once he had passed?  There is something dreadfully wrong with this story. There is something dreadfully wrong with the law. I do think that parents faced with these dreadful decisions, have to have a lot of empathy from hospital staff, and more, the possibilities, need to be broader and freer. I spent my entire week thinking and worrying  about Alfie, and the fact he might not be being fed, or nurtured as a toddler would need energy to do all that breathing, even if he was unable to walk, breathing does take some energy. I hope, Alder Hey, change their policies. Not another child or parent should suffer. Parents and particularly mothers are given so much attention when pregnant. Pregnant mothers attend ante natal classes and literature is passed to the family for free. All so babies can live. I would hate to see the problem that occurred in Germany of selection of only healthy babies, being introduced to society. The problem with not enough ‘reaction’ to this death, will be, that it will happen again, the same doctor will assume it was alright. I could not believe his appearance on Morning Television, amidst the whole sufferance of the parents, the same week. May the whole of Liverpool get behind Kate James and her partner Thomas Evans with how they proceed from here.

Prayers Never Go Unheard

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2018 by kathydasilva

I have had such a deep sense of purpose for about twenty-four hours, as a result of hearing the news and developments about the treatment of a toddler of two at the hands of medical professionals practicing in England in the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, Alfie Evans. I myself had an accident two years ago now this month, that took me into the care of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. I have noticed two things over the years the Tories have been in power, which is to my amazement, they seem such an unfriendly party, to even contemplate a vote in their direction fills me with horror, but, there has been an unprecedented building or re-building program going on. Middlesex Hospital ( a new building) had me in as a patient with a hernia operation same day surgery. Royal London is in a new building, and some parts of this building are hardly used and not staffed yet. UCH, has a new building. So that is about three major London hospitals to have absolutely new buildings, and of course they cost money. The money that might have been spent I guess on staff. The planning of the expenses of these hospitals is what needs further scrutiny. Doctors, surgeons are being asked to perform operations, for hour upon hour, all within a certain period of time, one after the other after, another. The surgeries for the ‘consultation’ period of attendance are lengthy and usually you have to wait around for an afternoon at least about two or three hours for all the checks, X-Rays, and then the meet with the surgeon to see what is going to be done in preparation mentally as well as in a practical way for the treatment. The medical staff as a whole are very good, mostly at their manner with patients, but, I did feel, on the last occasion a little bit like being on a conveyor belt, and was very glad when the surgery was all over, and I went home. I guess, there are two ways of seeing this. Either you buy medical private care, or possibly be victim of a organization, which has been stretched beyond itself, and budget.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is in a new building in a park. I wonder who managed the budget. How much pressure might have been on that individual? I also would not trust a Conservative member of parliament with the money paid for the NHS.
I fear mistakes are being made in diagnosis. I fear that the sacredness of our own humanity is at risk. A little boy of two has as much right to life as an adult. But, because of his age, and inability to speak for himself, he is at risk of being ‘talked over’, prodded, and assessed without recourse to the outcome, and how ‘he’ feels. He is no less a human being than the bus-man or train driver, but, because he is too young to be assessed on ‘usefulness’, what is happening, is a simple ignorance of how wonderful this little patient is as a whole. All life is sacred, we should never forget that.
The treatment of Alfie Evans, will stay with me for a long time. If I were in the hospital I would want my child fed, regularly, even if his life has become somewhat limited, this could be temporary. St Theresa of Avila, had a fever, which rendered her like a victim of a stroke, she barely could raise a finger, but after the worst of the fever passed, her strength returned, after much prayer, much saying of the Credo, and the Our Father, Glory Be, and prayers of faith. I am one who does believe in the phenomena of the ‘miracle’. Light over Dark. We do battle for our loved ones, it occurs daily, but, many times, over, I forget how tough this battle is, and how lazy I have got about prayer. But, I pray now for Alfie Evan’s healing. Lord let the victory be Yours. Amen.
I am writing this, knowing, every minute in the next two or three days is going to count in the saving of a life. The saving of Alfie is what the next twenty-four hours is going to be about. Both parents have tried to legally regain some control over what happens with their baby. I believe them, entirely that the little one is doing well. That Alfie knows his father and mother’s faces, and he is able to see them. His eyes it is mentioned do dilate open and close to bright light. He can hear. He experiences sensation, but the doctors were trying to progress his demise, they were trying to beckon death upon this little baby. I do not think it normal that an institution that is essentially about healing is behaving in this terrible way. I cannot believe that the state has this little baby literally ‘hostage’ style and imprisoned. There is an air ambulance standing ready to take the toddler to Rome for treatment. The Pope himself, Pope Francis has offered to help Alfie, but the stubborn and evil law institution has grown frayed around the edges with this. The Law is not protecting the common man, and this is inherently wrong. Alfie is now an Italian citizen. And still this means nothing to that institution of the Law that is a fallacy of it’s own making. When laws do not protect the innocent, then we all know we are in trouble. So we must press for a change in the law, about families and their rights, and the rights of the individual who cannot speak for themselves.
I encourage debate, and comment.

I once read about the healing mission of an American woman called Catherine Kuhlman. “The greatest power that God has given to any individual is the power of prayer.” She had the gift of healing, and amazing things happened for those who asked God to enter their lives. Sometimes it is in the tragedy of illness, and trauma, that we are literally brought to our knees. I do it, I know other people who pray, and being humble enough to admit where we ourselves have failed to be good, and in our Catholic Church, we do say to God: Look not on our sins but the faith of your church. So yes, we all need to get our church to pray for Alfie and his parents. it will be the answer in the end to the ‘dead’ silence coming from Westminster currently… ‘deafening silence’.. considering the enormity of this event.  I myself understand being Catholic, but eerily it is looking like Theresa Mays affiliation with the DUP, are an exposition of what influences institutions today. I hope that the prejudice is removed soon. Let us hope all the Catholics in Liverpool light a candle and say a prayer for Alfie.