- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Baby Joseph returns home to Canada
Leaves hospital one month after tracheotomy
ST. LOUIS | A 15-month-old boy at the center of an end-of-life debate on Thursday left the St. Louis hospital that treated him after doctors in his native Canada refused, doctors and family friends said.
Joseph Maraachli left Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis before dawn and flew with his parents and 7-year-old brother back to Canada, exactly one month after receiving a tracheotomy.
The Rev. Frank Pavone of New York City-based Priests for Life, which lobbies against abortion rights and euthanasia and paid for Joseph’s transfer to St. Louis, confirmed that the family was back in their Ontario apartment after a brief checkup at a Windsor hospital.
“It’s just a great thing,” Father Pavone said.
Known as Baby Joseph, the child suffers from the progressive neurological disease Leigh Syndrome. Doctors in Canada had refused to perform the tracheotomy, saying it was futile because the disease is terminal, and an Ontario court decided doctors could remove the child’s breathing tube.
His family sought help from American hospitals, and Cardinal Glennon agreed to treat Joseph.
“I would say they think it’s a miracle. It’s absolutely astounding,” he said. “He is on a lot less medication. He is doing phenomenal.”
St. Louis doctors said the procedure provides Joseph with increased mobility and comfort while providing a more stable airway. It protects his lungs from inhaled saliva or other material that could cause aspiration pneumonia.
Doctors have declined to predict if the procedure will extend Joseph’s life but his family thinks it could add months.
“By providing him with this common palliative procedure, we’ve given Joseph the chance to go home and be with his family after spending so much of his young life in the hospital,” said Dr. Robert Wilmott, chief of pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon.
The child’s father, Moe Maraachli, said that he was grateful for all of the support in recent weeks.
“So many people from the United States and Canada and all around the world have reached out, sent letters and called my family to let us know they were praying for us and thinking about us,” he said. “This has really helped our family through this hard time, to know there is so much kindness in the world.”
Joseph’s story drew international attention after doctors at London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario, where he had been treated since October, determined that he was in a permanent vegetative state and that his condition was deteriorating, and they planned to take him off of assisted breathing.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
- EDITORIAL: Senate rejects Adegbile for Justice post
- Italy outraged over U.S. gun dealer's 'David' ad
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again