Baby Joseph Maraachli, who was at the heart of a fierce medical care debate, died on Sept 27th. The little Ontario boy had a progressive neurological disease, and had just turned turned 20 months the week before. He died that Tuesday afternoon at his home in Windsor, Ont., with his parents and relatives at his side.
Joseph’s father questions why he had to travel to the U.S. to obtain the care he wanted for Joseph. Doctors at the London Hospital refused to perform a tracheotomy. Doctors in London wanted to turn off Baby Joseph’s ventilator, but Joseph’s parents requested a tracheotomy be performed allowing him to breathe on his own. Joseph had a progressive neurological disease. His parents, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader, had lost another child to the same neurodegenerative disease eight years ago. A tracheotomy had been performed on his sister allowing her parents to bring her home and Joseph’s parents wanted the same for him. Joseph would have died after being removed from his ventilator. Joseph’s parents knew his condition was fatal. His sister had lived another six months at home following her tracheotomy.
The hospital agreed to send Joseph home but without performing a tracheotomy. He would be removed from the ventilator at home.
After an Ontario court ruled that doctors could remove the child’s breathing tube, the parents took Joseph to a St. Louis hospital, thanks to the help of New York City-based Priests for Life, which works against abortion and euthanasia to promote a culture of life. The financial support and help received from Father Pavone of Priests for Life made it possible for the Maraachli family to bring Joseph to the U.S.
16 month old baby Joseph had responded well to treatment, and a tracheotomy was performed at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Centre in St. Louis in March 2011.
Dr. Robert Wilmont, chief of Pediatrics for the St. Louis hospital and the St. Louis University School of Medicine said: “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.”
So Baby Joseph lived comfortably for another six months surrounded by the love of his family and friends.