Heartbroken dad Tom Evans revealed the family would be dropping their legal bid to take Alfie to Rome, saying the 23-month-old no longer needed intensive care and he simply wanted to take his son home.
The family have been fighting a legal battle for months to have their son Alfie, who is suffering from an unknown degenerative brain condition, flown to Italy for a possible diagnosis and treatment, but today accepted it would not be possible after the Court of Appeal refused their last-ditch plea.
Speaking this morning, Tom, 21, said: "We could take it further, but would it be the right thing to do, would people give me more criticism.
"So what we do today, is we have a meeting with doctors at Alder Hey and we now start asking to go home."
But the dad is still not without hope for his son's future, adding: "As I sit next to Alfie's bedside, every second of every day, it encourages me more and more that he will live for 'x' amount of months, possibly years."
Pointing out that his son was taken off life support three days ago and still clinging to life, he praised his partner Kate James, saying: "Alfie’s fought through the night the last two nights because he’s been lying on her chest nonstop.
"And him and his mum have become closer now more than ever before."
Saying that it was the love of Kate and Alfie that kept him going, Tom said that if today's meeting with the hospital did not go well, he would be willing to go back to court to fight for his son.
He said: "I cannot explain how blessed I am to have Alfie and Kate in my life. That's what keeps me fighting."
Tom this morning told LBC that he believes that Alder Hey doctors "hate him" for fighting against the decision to end his life support.
But he said that his son's survival was not a "miracle", saying that he had always struggled to believe the toddler was suffering from a neurological disease.
It comes after Tom and partner Kate James last night kept a bedside vigil next to their son, with the mum posting the poignant clip of little Alfie with the words: "My whole entire world I love you so much baby boy".
The clip was shared just hours after Appeals Court judges ruled the tot will not be flown to Italy.
Protesters have continued to gather outside the children's hospital yesterday and today, reportedly blocked from entering the hospital amid claims from a family friend that "disgusting" doctors had mistreated sick Alfie.
Alfie has been in a "semi-vegetative state" for more than a year and is currently only receiving oxygen after being taken off life support on Monday following a series of court rulings.
Doctors argued that it was in the little boy's best interest to end his life support rather than be taken to Italy — a view repeatedly backed by the courts.
Latest on the Alfie Evans case:
- Alfie Evans' parents lose Appeal Court bid this week to overturn decision stopping the tot being taken to Italy for treatment
- Mum Kate James claims Alfie is "struggling and needs immediate intervention"
- Alder Hey's staff and docs subjected to a "barrage" of abuse, hospital bosses say
- Rumours on social media calling for hospital to be stormed last night as dad Tom postpones statement as parents keep bedside vigil beside their son
- Appeal Court judge calls for investigation into the "darker side" to some offers of support given to parents of terminally ill children
- The Pope put a military air ambulance on standby in an attempt to have the 23-month-old boy be flown to the Vatican
- Alfie, diagnosed with a brain condition, had his life support removed at 9.17pm on Monday and has been since been put on oxygen
- Dad Tom Evans tried to privately prosecute three doctors for conspiracy to murder his son, court is told
- Judge says there is "virtually nothing left" of Alfie's brain
Last night Merseyside Police warned supporters of Alfie's family that their social media posts are being monitored over reports that Alder Hey doctors are being hit with abuse.
Ch Insp Chris Gibson said: "Any offences including malicious communications and threatening behaviour will be investigated and where necessary will be acted upon".
And an open letter from the heads of Alder Hey said their staff had been subjected to a "barrage" of abuse both online and in person.
Chairman Sir David Henshaw and chief executive Louise Shepherd wrote: "In the last two weeks we have found ourselves at the centre of a social media storm that has included many untrue statements about our work and the motivations of our staff.
"This has led to often inappropriate interventions from a range of external bodies and individuals, some of which have caused significant disruption to our children, families and staff."
And Appeal Court judge Lord Justice McFarlane called for an investigation into the "darker side" to some offers of support given to parents of terminally ill children.
Responding to last night's judgement, a spokesperson for Alder Hey said: "We note today’s ruling from the Appeal Court which has rejected both applications to take Alfie to Italy.
"Our top priority is to continue to provide Alfie with the care he deserves and to ensure his comfort, dignity and privacy are maintained at this time."
Before the shattering decision, the court heard dad Tom had tried to privately prosecute three doctors for conspiracy to murder his son.
Lord Justice Sir Andrew McFarlane criticised Tom's legal team over their claims that there was "no hostility" towards hospital staff.
Lord Justice McFarlane said: “Your client purported to take out a private prosecution to have three named doctors charged with the criminal offence of conspiracy to murder.
“Those summonses were served on the doctors and I hear you say that there is no hostility to the NHS.”
A lawyer representing Tom had argued that there had been a "significant change of circumstances" because the tot was still breathing despite his life support being turned off.
Paul Diamond said the family should “not be bound by a decision which is now three months old”.
But a lawyer representing Alfie's mum Kate said the youngster was "struggling and needs immediate intervention".
The court heard a German air ambulance crew was on standby at the request of the Pope.
Alfie's aunt Sarah Evans wrote: "Please continue to pray Alfie is still fighting."
Supporters were reportedly later seen running into the hospital entrance with what appeared to be medical equipment.
A petition urging the Queen to help save Alfie reached more than 110,000 signatures in just two days.
It came as Piers Morgan urged the authorities to allow the tot's parents to release him from hospital to spend his final hours at home.
The Good Morning Britain presenter tweeted: "At least let his parents take him home to die, for goodness sake. He's THEIR little boy, nobody else's. #AlfieEvans"
Actress Kym Marsh added: “Praying hard for #alfieevans right now. Keep fighting little man.”
On Tuesday Mr Justice Hayden described Alfie as "a fighter" as he raised the possibility of allowing the tot home or to a hospice for parents Tom Evans and Kate James to be with him in his final days.
He told the emergency High Court hearing in Manchester: "If there were a more constructive attitude from the family might other options become possible, away from Alder Hey?", adding that taking Alfie home had been suggested.
But a doctor replied that there was a "genuine fear" among hospital staff of angry demonstrators supporting Alfie's family — adding it could take three to five days to put a plan in place.
On "courageous" Alfie's future care, Mr Justice Hayden added that options will be discussed with his parents "with the objective of promoting a removal from hospital if possible."
But the judge branded Italy’s efforts to grant Alfie Italian citizenship to see him taken abroad as "disrespectful the principles of international diplomacy".
And he slammed some supporters of Alfie’s parents for giving them "misleading" advice that he said had damaged their relationship with the hospital.
There have been angry demonstrations and attempts to storm the hospital over recent days as Alfie's case makes its way through the courts.
Mr Justice Hayden branded one man a "fanatic" who believed he knew better than the law — and warned the demonstrator had come "perilously" close to being held in contempt of court.
Alfie's life support was switched off on Monday night after the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene in the case.
But medics were left "gobsmacked" that the sick tot had continued to breathe for a further 19 hours before he was put on oxygen on Tuesday.
Alder Hey insisted during Tuesday's hearing that doctors had explained that he could survive for hours or even days after his ventilator was withdrawn.
Refusing to accept the case for changing Alfie’s care plan, Mr Justice Hayden said: “There is capacity for something of his brain stem to generate breathing.
“But there is no sense of touch or taste or hearing and the brain remains predominantly water.”
Responding to the High Court ruling, Alder Hey said last on Tuesday: "This evening the High Court again ruled that it is in Alfie's best interests to continue with the end of life care plan developed by the clinical team who have cared for him throughout.
"Our top priority therefore remains in ensuring Alfie receives the care he deserves to ensure his comfort, dignity and privacy are maintained throughout.
"This includes working closely with Kate and Tom as they spend this precious time together with him.
"We would be grateful if respect and consideration is shown to all our staff, patients and families at the hospital at this difficult time."
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