STATEN ISLAND, March 14, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Under cover of darkness, Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, arrived in Ontario, Canada, Sunday night to rescue Baby Joseph Maraachli from the London Health Sciences Centre. For two weeks, doctors at the hospital in London, Ontario, have been delaying the baby's transfer to a hospital where efforts to save his life will not be officially labeled "futile."
"I knew, after this dragged on day after day, that I needed to be here myself to get Baby Joseph to safety," said Father Pavone. "He needs to be in a hospital that cherishes life over the bottom line. After around-the-clock negotiations, this really became a race against time." Father Pavone was accompanied by Priests for Life staff, who were there to assure the transfer proceeded smoothly.
Baby Joseph and his father, Moe Maraachli, were flown with Father Pavone to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis, Mo., on a specially equipped air ambulance provided by Michigan-based Kalitta Charters, and sponsored and paid for by the New York City-based Priests for Life.
"If there is a chance this boy can live, we have to explore every option," said Father Pavone, who was to arrive back home in New York earlier today after weekend speaking engagements in Cleveland. Instead, he flew to Detroit and then on to Canada, vowing not to leave the country until he had Baby Joseph and his father with him.
"Priests for Life staff toiled through the night for many nights, working in concert with dozens of people to make this possible," Father Pavone said of the nighttime rescue mission. "Now that we have won the battle against the medical bureaucracy in Canada, the real work of saving Baby Joseph can begin."
Father Pavone said Baby Joseph's transfer was accomplished through the efforts of a number of people, including his parents; family spokesman Sam Sansalone; family attorney Claudio Martini; Bobby Schindler of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Dr. Martin McCaffrey, a neonatologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Medical School; the Rev. Pat Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition in Washington, D.C., and attorney CeCe Heil from the American Center for Law and Justice, also in D.C. Father Frank also thanked the many other Canadian pro-life groups and individuals who have been consistent and heroic in their advocacy for Baby Joseph and for all the vulnerable. "We are united across national boundaries to continue to work together for a Culture of Life," Father Pavone said.
SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center opened in 1956 and was named in memory of Cardinal John Glennon, Archbishop of St. Louis from 1903 until his death in 1946. The hospital was a fulfillment of Cardinal Glennon's vision of a health-care facility open to all children in need of medical care. The hospital is part of SSM Healthcare, which is run by the Franciscan Sisters of Mary. The system has 19 acute-care hospitals in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.
Consider the power given to hospitals and doctors to decide who should live and who is a waste of time and money. This issue was compounded by the Canadian healthcare system. The hospital in Ontario claims that it was targeted with personal threats and falsehoods (because they were going to kill little Joseph) - and they just cannot imagine why people were exercising their free speech rights. This healthcare system is the same system that the current administration in the United States hopes for. The family simply wanted the child to be given a procedure so that they could take him home and that procedure was refused because the life of this little child was not valuable to the doctors and hospital administration. Even if an outside source were to pay for the procedure, the procedure itself was refused.
Praise God for Father Frank and all who have assisted in this matter. Recall the posting on Baby Faith back in 2009 and the problems this mom faced in Canada in regard to delivering her child that, according to medical advice, was not worth giving life to. The United States is not immune to the mentality of leaving medical 'professionals' to decide where life is worth living or not. Every day parents decide to abort a child because they may be born with a physical abnormality or not fit in to the ideals of our secular society. Need an example? See this post on prenatal testing, also from 2009.
EDITED 9/29/2011: Baby Joseph passed away at home surrounded by his loving family. Please read the story here.