Isaiah lived for seven hours after life-support treatment stopped, says father

A severely-disabled 12-month-old boy, who was at the centre of a High Court treatment battle, lived for seven hours after life-support equipment was turned off, his father says.

Lanre Haastrup said he was "so proud" of his son Isaiah.

Mr Haastrup said he and Isaiah's mother Takesha Thomas were at the little boy's bedside as life ebbed away at King's College Hospital in London on Wednesday.

The couple became involved in a legal battle after specialists said Isaiah should be allowed to die because further treatment was futile and not in the little boy's best interests.

A High Court judge gave doctors permission to provide only palliative care to Isaiah against the wishes of Mr Haastrup and Miss Thomas.

Isaiah Haastrup with his aunt Dahlia Thomas (Irwin Mitchell/PA)
Isaiah Haastrup with his aunt Dahlia Thomas (Irwin Mitchell/PA)

Mr Justice MacDonald analysed evidence at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in January.

Isaiah's parents, who are both in their 30s and from Peckham, south-east London, failed to persuade Court of Appeal judges and judges at the European Court of Human Rights to overturn Mr Justice MacDonald's decision.

The little boy had suffered brain damage which doctors said was irreversible.

"We were both with him," said Mr Haastrup on Thursday.

"He lived for seven hours after they turned the ventilator off. He breathed on his own for seven hours. Seven hours.

"That's nearly a whole day's shift when you go to work. I was so proud of him. So proud."

He added: "We want to thank everyone for all their support."

A spokesman for the King's College Hospital trust said the thoughts of staff were with Isaiah's parents.

"Isaiah suffered an irreversible brain injury following a rare and life-threatening obstetric emergency during his mother's labour," said the spokesman.

"Since birth he had been fully dependent on life support with no prospect of improvement, and throughout we actively sought to engage and involve Isaiah's parents in his care.

"The best interests of our patients must always come first.

"The trust always provided Isaiah with the very best care and the decision to apply to the court to withdraw treatment was only made after careful consideration and after consultation with the family.

"In Isaiah's case, the High Court ruled that overwhelming expert and independent medical opinion supported the declaration sought that withdrawing treatment was in his best interests."

He added: "We recognise that this has been an extremely difficult time for Isaiah's family as well as those involved in his care since birth.

"As Mr Justice MacDonald wrote in his judgment 'no one can imagine the emotional pain of the parents'.

"The thoughts of everyone at the trust are with them."

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