The father of a critically ill eight-month-old baby, who lost a legal battle for her to stay on life-support in the UK, has said his daughter “deserves a chance” to live a longer life.
Indi Gregory is just eight months old and has a mitochondrial disease which saps energy from her cells. She is currently receiving life-support care in Nottingham.
Her parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, are awaiting a High Court decision after lawyers sought to persuade the judge that a fresh treatment plan from a hospital in Italy marked a “material and compelling change of circumstances” since the previous ruling that doctors could limit treatment.
Mr Gregory told Sky News “there is a potential for Indi to have a longer life” which is why they are exploring the option of treatment abroad.
“We should hear within the next 24 hours,” Mr Gregory said. “We have a hospital in Italy who are willing to treat Indi, so we are asking the judge if we can go.
“We just want her to have the treatments that will potentially make her live for longer, whether that’s five years, two years or three years. It doesn’t matter as long as she gets the best chance.”
The NHS hospital trust treating Indi says she is dying and that the treatment being offered in Italy would not change the outcome for her and her family.
Image: Indi Gregory has a mitochondrial disease and is currently on life-support New treatment offer ‘possible but pointless’
Scott Matthewson, the barrister representing Queen’s Medical Centre NHS trust in Nottingham, says Indi’s parents’ application for their daughter to be transferred to Rome should be dismissed.
He told the court the cardiac treatment that doctors in Italy are prepared to carry out, by contrast to those in the UK, would be “possible but pointless” while accepting this was a “brutal” characterisation.
But Simone Pillon, an Italian-based lawyer representing the family in their efforts to have Indi transferred to Rome, told Sky News the proposals will “limit or eliminate Indi’s physical suffering”.
And Indi’s parents “totally disagree” with the NHS trust’s arguments against moving their daughter, Mr Gregory told Sky’s Niall Paterson.
“She is not in extraordinary amounts of pain, she is calm most of the time, and she is stable,” he said.
“She is not brain-dead, so she deserves a chance,” he said.
Image: Indi’s father said she is not in pain and is calm most of the time Risk of travel for ‘full of life’ Indi will be considered by judge
Mr Gregory said it was a “miracle” and a “shock” that the hospital in Italy had offered to treat his daughter.
The Italian government has said it will pay for the care.
The High Court judge considering the latest development in the case will consider the potential impact of the treatment being offered in Italy.
The risk of transferring Indi via air ambulance to Rome will also be taken into account by the judge.
“There can be no doubt” that such travel “would carry risk”, the judge told Louis Brown KC, who represents Indi’s parents.
In response, the family’s lawyer argued the risk is “far outweighed by the potential benefit”.
“This is a beautiful little girl,” he told the court.
“You would not know by looking at the videos that she had – to an untrained eye – any problem of a medical nature. She appears to be full of life.”
Indi’s parents now await the decision of the judge while she stays under life-support care.