THE dad of “right to life” toddler Alfie Evans has told how his beautiful new baby boy has given him a new lease on life.
Tom Evans said little Thomas Jr is the double of his late brother – who tragically died after a harrowing legal battle fought by his parents last year.
Rex Features Tom Evans with partner Kate James and their baby son Thomas Jr – who is the ‘double’ of his late brother Alfie
PA:Press Association Little Alfie Evans tragically died last year after his life support machine was switched off on doctors’ advice
Alfie, who suffered from a rare degenerative brain disease, was just 23 months old when his life support machine at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital was switched off.
But despite the heartbreaking ordeal – which drew global attention including support from the Pope – dad Tom says his six-month-old son has given his family fresh hope for the future.
And the bond with little Thomas has brought joy back into Tom and partner Kate James’ life – joy that they feared they’d lost forever.
Tom, 22, told the Sunday Mirror: “Thomas is Alfie’s double, the resemblance is amazing.
“When we see Thomas pull a face he looks like Alfie, we feel that in a way we have them both with us.
“He’s such a happy baby, he does nothing but smile.
“I had a great connection with Alfie and I feel like I’ve got the same with Thomas.”
REASON TO GET UP
Opening up about how he and Kate have struggled since losing Alfie, Tom added that he “wouldn’t want to wake up” if it wasn’t for baby Thomas.
The proud dad spoke as he and Kate revealed a £140,000 fund originally raised for sick Alfie will now be spent on helping other ill children.
Tom added: “When Thomas gets older we want him to understand what Alfie went through and he can know good came from it.
“We’d like to help children around the UK and the world.”
STRAIN ON RELATIONSHIP
But it is hard for the grieving parents to forget the nightmare of losing their first-born child.
The couple fought through the courts to keep Alfie on life-support – after doctors insisted they could do nothing more for him.
Kate, 21, fell pregnant with Thomas during the ordeal than drove their relationship to the limits.
But the couple battled on together and now feel closer than ever before.
That is despite Tom claiming that doctors tried to turn Kate against him during the battle to save Alfie – a battle that drew widespread public attention.
Tom added: “It was hard for her to hear the arguments of the doctors every day.
“There was a lot of strain, but we stayed together.
“We both loved Alfie and both wanted the best for Alfie.”
Baby Thomas’ arrival, while being a happy moment for the couple, triggered a wave of emotions.
Tom explained: “We were happy that Alfie had a brother, it’s just that Alfie wasn’t there with us.
“It was hard because the first time we had a beautiful boy and we lost him.
“Then when we had Thomas there were tears of joy, but it felt different because we had lost our first boy.”
Recalling little Alfie’s final moments, tearful Tom revealed how he desperately tried to perform CPR on the dying toddler in the early hours of April 27 last year.
He said: “I think about that moment every day. That moment is forever in my head.”
Alfie went on to defy doctor’s expectations and lived for another five days – with his doting parents at his side the whole time.
In total, the toddler spent the final 17 months of his life in Alder Hey Hospital.
Alfie was born in May 2016 and for the first six months of his life appeared a healthy and happy little boy.
But doctors later diagnosed him with rare GABA transaminase deficiency – and revealed the heartbreaking news that there was nothing more they could do for him.
A series of courts agreed with doctors’ decisions, prompting desperate Tom and Kate to campaign for him to be kept on life support in the hope he could be taken abroad for life-saving experimental treatment.
Tom even met with Pope Francis who supported the couple’s fight for their son – but ultimately his life support machine was switched off.
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The parents continue to seek grief counsellors – with Tom saying: “We are still understanding how to grieve.”
He added: “I want to be more happy around Thomas, I don’t want him to see me crying all the time or with a bad face.
“He needs a happy environment. I need to understand how to be happy.”
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