Father Continues Fight for Sick Child

ST. LOUIS (AP)  – The father of a terminally ill toddler transferred to a St. Louis hospital after an Ontario court ruled doctors could remove the breathing tube keeping the boy alive says he won’t stop fighting for his son and plans to chronicle the ordeal for a screenplay or book to help other parents.

Thirteen-month-old Joseph Maraachli arrived last weekend at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, which agreed to treat him after his doctors at an Ontario hospital that had tended to him since October determined that he was in a permanent vegetative state and in deteriorating condition.

When Joseph’s doctors at London Health Sciences Centre planned to take him off of assisted breathing, the boy’s parents, who lost an 18-month-old child to the same disease eight years ago, challenged the hospital’s finding in court but lost.

Officials at the St. Louis hospital have said Joseph probably will undergo throat surgery this week to clear his airway and connect him to a portable breathing machine. His parents hope to eventually take him back home to Windsor, Ontario, across the border from Detroit.

“I fight for him because that’s my job for my son,” Moe Maraachli, 34, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a story Wednesday while he was at Cardinal Glennon. “He’s never given up, because I’ve never given up. `Let me take him home and let him breathe. If he will die, he will die because he’s sick, naturally.”

As part of their Canadian legal dispute, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader contended that removing their son’s breathing tube would make
him suffocate and cause him undue suffering. They sought to compel doctors to give Joseph a tracheotomy that would allow him to
breathe through a tube inserted into his throat.

The parents insisted the tracheotomy could extend his life up to six months,  as they say it did for their other child who died,  and would allow him to die at home.

After losing in the courts, Joseph’s parents enlisted support for their cause using social media sites, but the hospital refused to reverse course. So they began reaching out to U.S. hospitals, and Cardinal Glennon agreed to care for their son.

New York City-based Priests for Life, which lobbies against abortion rights and euthanasia, agreed to pay for Joseph’s transfer on a chartered plane and his subsequent medical care in St. Louis. The Rev. Frank Pavone, of the priests’ group, said the exact disease from which Joseph suffers has not been determined. The Ontario hospital, in a news release, has called it a “progressively deteriorating neurological condition” and said the move to St. Louis was against the advice of its medical staff.

Maraachli, an 11-year Canadian citizen who is Muslim and originally from Lebanon, told the Post-Dispatch that his family believes Joseph’s fate rests with God. His wife, who plans to travel soon to St. Louis, is Catholic.  “Nothing is impossible in this world if you have trust in
God,” the newspaper quoted Maraachli as saying. “What God wants to do, that’s what I want to do.” “Give him this treatment and let me go home,” he added.  Maraachli said he appreciates the “big, warm hug” he feels he’s gotten from Americans, and he plans to eventually write a book or screenplay about Joseph’s story as a lesson for parents.

Copyright Associated Press

Comments

One Comment

  1. hhcnadu says:

    This is pathetic. A lesson for parents, from someone who knows how to do it right I see.

    1. Rebecca Brooks says:

      Well what did he do that was wrong, Mr. hhcnadu smarty pants? You are the pathetic one, He is fighting for his child’s life & for keeping him as comfortable as possible (if he cannot beat this) for as long as possible. those so called healers in Canada just wanted him to let them make the child suffer & die with as little output & care as they could. Scrooges

  2. hhcandu says:

    He is exploiting his own son’s desperate situation. And now he admits it thru saying he wants to write a book and have a screenplay He is an healthy opportunist who lives off of his wife’s disability check. This is the second child they have had with the situation. The first baby did not die at home, but in the hospital with an infection. Most likely from the trach tube. He is ungrateful to the Canadian hospital who provided care for both his children for more than half of their lives. Open your eyes, it is a very compassionate situation I am not denying that, but it also smells badly of publicity, poster child, vehicle for fundraising, and a very misinformed method to smash and condemn the Canadian medical system. Canadians do not do this to poor, terminal american babies, and there are a lot of them who did not have near the longevity of this baby due to lack of funds. It is very sad!

  3. Bernie Wood says:

    Rebecca, you do not know the details of this case.This poor child has no brain activity, cannot breathe on his own, cannot eat and has been in a vegetative state for several months with no possible chance of ever recovering. Everything possible that could be done for this child has been done. This situation has been manipulated so that his parents can continue to received money……they are not looking out for their child, they are only selfishly thinking of themselves.
    We have a wonderful health care system in Canada, I received the best of care for Breast Cancer. It is not a perfect system but no one is ever turned away because they don’t have money. If the priest wasn’t paying for Joseph’s care would the American people do it? Would their hospitals treat him? Please know the facts before judging something you know nothing about.

  4. Bernie Wood says:

    Rebecca, you do not know the details of this case.This poor child has no brain activity, cannot breathe on his own, cannot eat and has been in a vegetative state for several months with no possible chance of ever recovering. Everything possible that could be done for this child has been done. This situation has been manipulated so that his parents can continue to received money……they are not looking out for their child, they are only selfishly thinking of themselves.
    We have a wonderful health care system in Canada, I received the best of care for Breast Cancer. It is not a perfect system but no one is ever turned away because they don’t have money. If the priest wasn’t paying for Joseph’s care would the American people do it? Would their hospitals treat him? Please know the facts before judging something you know nothing about

  5. Katie Dake says:

    doesn’t look like he’s in a vegetative state to me… based on the videos they have released of him responding to his dad and what not… he seems pretty aware to me. I just think the boy should have an equal chance as anyone else. and hey don’t you believe in miracles? anything can happen..🙂

  6. JustMe says:

    Bernie, Bernie, Bernie….ignorance is a bliss!! Girl, did you not see all the many videos out now of Baby Joseph not only reacting to stimuli, but kicking his legs, thrashing his arms, and looking at his father, etc.? PVS nor vegetative state patients DO NOT DO THESE THINGS! The only thing holding this baby back from trying to get up out of his bed is constant PAIN MEDICINE FOR THE TUBE that’s been shoved down his throat for WAY LONGER THAN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN!! Not to mention, his muscles are weak from being laid up for so long. No matter what you heard, had this baby been given a trach months and months ago (like he was supposed to have), he wouldn’t be in the shape he’s in now. He’d either be home with his parents or he’d be with God, BUT for whatever reason the doctors there did not give him the trach (a tube through the nose should not be kept in for longer than 6 weeks due to scar tissue and other bad side effects – you can check that out yourself online if you would just take the time to do so instead of listening to false information from others!). Geez,people…stop the rumors and educate yourself before you run your mouths!!

  7. BJ KELLY says:

    GOD BLESS THIS CHILD AND KEEP HIM SAFE I DO UNDERSTAND THE PARENTS TRYING TO KEEP THEIR SON ALIVE AND DOING WHAT EVER THEY CAN ..I HAVE LOST A DAUGHTER AND IT HURTS NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO BURIED THEIR CHILD.RIGHT NOW I AM DIEING I HAVE CANCER AND I WILL BE WITH MY DAUGHTER AGAIN. BUT FOR ALL OF YOU WHO NEVER HAD A CHILD WHO IS SICK OR DIEING ………\SHUT UP THESE PARENTS ARE DOING WHAT THEY FEEL IS RIGHT. AS FOR THESE PARENTS WANTING TO WRITE A BOOK OR MOVIE GOOD FOR THEM SO ANOTHER FAMILY CAN BE HELP..GOD BLESS THIS FAMILY

  8. hhcandu says:

    You do not know when this video was recorded do you. It may say a date, but is that true. If you Read http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onccb/doc/2011/2011canlii7955/2011canlii7955.html
    look under analysis and see this “Third, JM has had an increase in clinical motor seizures. A fourth EEG was completed and was
    also grossly abnormal. The EEG again demonstrated no brain reaction to external stimulation.” Read read read, take your own advice then comment. His other baby died of infection in his arms in the London hospital, not at home. The only chance this baby had to die at home was to have taken the London Hospital up on their offer to transport the baby and ventilator, ensure the baby was comfortable and then disconnect him at home. As well they offered the availability of medication in case the parents felt it was necessary to aid in the passing.

  9. hhcandu says:

    If he is very serious about wanting to help others he should start with setting a good example. By prolonging the passing of his baby and paying to have this baby receive even more medical risks seem to outweigh his desire for compassion. If he forms a non profit organization and funnels all his money back into helping sick children then good for him. And he can pay himself a nice fat pay check as CEO. As a parent, I would not want his advice, I would seek out medical advice and research things myself to only do what would help my child, not myself.

  10. Patricia Rudy says:

    God is in charge of baby Joseph and I love him and believe that God’s love will continue to protect and provide for him. I believe that it is the will of God to restore this darling baby to full health so I will continue to praise God for wonderful baby Joseph!

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