Heartbreaking video shows six-month-old baby Indi waves her tiny arms about from hospital bed beside her mother – filmed as a judge was asked to decide if she should live or die
- The video shows baby Indi waving her arms from the hospital bed by her mother
- It was sent to the High Court judge as the family begged for her life to be saved
Waving her tiny arms and looking around, this is baby Indi Gregory today – filmed as a judge was asked to decide if she should live or die.
The six-month-old was in ‘good spirits’ playing on her hospital bed beside her doting mother Claire Staniforth.
Meanwhile, as the seriously ill little girl appeared to gaze in wonder around the room, her father was 125 miles away in London’s Royal Courts of Justice begging for mercy for his daughter.
Dean Gregory had never been to London before, but he bravely stood before a High Court judge and fought for more time after Indi’s doctors asked for permission to let her die.
Baby Indi Gregory yesterday won a 12-day reprieve after her father begged a High Court judge for more time to save her.
Dean Gregory told Mr Justice Peel his desperately sick daughter was a fighter and deserved a chance at life.
Mr Gregory sent the judge a new video of Indi recorded that morning by her mother at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, which he said showed their little girl was in ‘good spirits’
Dean Gregory (pictured) told Mr Justice Peel his desperately sick daughter was a fighter and deserved a chance at life.
Mr Gregory, 37, who appeared in court without a lawyer, said he and his partner Claire Staniforth had only been given two days’ notice of the devastating court application to switch their tiny daughter to ‘end of life’ care.
He has sent the judge a new video of Indi recorded that morning by her mother, 35, at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, which he said showed their little girl was in ‘good spirits’.
Mr Justice Peel agreed to delay the decision on Indi’s fate until September 27, saying: ‘I agree completely. It is absolutely right and important you must be able to gather your thoughts and prepare for this. I have received your concerns about it being last-minute, without you having legal representation. It would not be appropriate to proceed today.’
He told Mr Gregory: ‘I want to assure you that first and foremost and paramount, the number-one consideration, top of my priority, is your daughter. It is all about her, her interests as an individual in her own right and as a family member.’
Father-of-three Mr Gregory, 37, of Ilkeston, Derbyshire, had never even been to London before standing up to represent his family at the High Court yesterday. He was praised by the judge for taking part in the proceedings in ‘this very formal courtroom’ which he said could be ‘intimidating’.
And Mr Gregory, who works in pharmaceutical manufacturing, managed to fight off an attempt by the hospital’s senior lawyer, Emma Sutton KC, to impose an immediate order which could stop medics performing CPR on his little girl.
Baby Indi’s father, Dean Gregory, 37, told the Mail that she is a ‘strong little girl and a real fighter who ‘deserves a chance at life’
The six-month-old girl is battling mitochondrial disease – the same condition that affected baby Charlie Gard
As well as suffering mitochondrial disease, baby Indi also has a hole in her heart
Indi Gregory with her mother Claire Staniforth, who said she was ‘devastated’ that doctors were considering ending her daughter’s life
READ MORE: Mother of Charlie Gard backs parents of six-month-old baby Indi Gregory who is battling mitochondrial disease as they prepare to beg High Court judge to allow her life-saving treatment to continue
Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie. Yates said it was ‘inhumane’ to schedule a court hearing to decide the fate of Indi Gregory at short notice
Miss Sutton argued that CPR resuscitation was ‘futile’ and would do more harm than good. She urged the judge to grant an order giving doctors permission to not do CPR if Indi needed it to survive.
But Mr Gregory responded by telling the judge Indi had already been given CPR three times in the past and ‘it didn’t affect her in any way’. The judge declined the hospital’s CPR request. It will now be considered as part of the overall decision on Indi’s fate at a full-day hearing on September 27.
Miss Sutton told the court: ‘There is real concern at the gravity of her illness, and any hearing should be sooner rather than later.
‘It can’t be reversed, her condition, and the doctors have done all they sensibly can do. There is nothing more that can be done.’
She said patients who have had such conditions since birth ‘sadly have a life expectancy of a matter of months’.
Miss Sutton said the hospital trust wanted the judge to approve a plan for doctors to stand back from carrying out treatment if Indi needed it ‘to sustain her life’.
She said ‘the luxury of time is not with us’ and the baby girl’s ‘best interests’ were served by an end-of-life care plan ‘to ensure Indi suffers the least pain and distress and retains the greatest dignity…whilst recognising that this would result in the shortening of her life’.
She suggested a ‘comfortable pain-free death’ in the hospital, a hospice or at home.
Outside court, Mr Gregory told the Mail: ‘It has been a devastating day. I sat in court and it was just me against the hospital.
‘Now the judge has given us some extra days but it is race against time – we have less than two weeks to save our daughter’s life.
‘We don’t even have a lawyer. It has been a bewildering and horrible experience.
‘Indi has disabilities, we know that, but to hear the hospital says there is nothing worth saving just breaks our hearts.
‘Even during the hearing, Indi’s mum sent me a video of her from this morning, and you can see she is a happy little girl, rolling around, being with her mum.
‘She has been fighting an infection but otherwise she is stable, and not in any pain.
‘There is no rush to this case, but the hospital are in a hurry, trying to say it is urgent. It is beyond horrifying for us as Indi’s parents to hear them saying it is urgent to end our daughter’s life.’
Parents in these cases are not entitled to legal aid – which Mr Justice Peel condemned, telling the court: ‘It is an absolutely deplorable state of affairs that parents in applications like these are not entitled to public funding. To my mind, it is quite unthinkable that parents without means to pay for representation cannot have public funding in circumstances where the life of their child is at stake.’
Doctors are understood to have concluded that Indi suffers from so many profoundly serious conditions that invasive treatments would not be in her best interests
Soon after her birth in February this year, Indi needed operations on her bowel and her skull to drain fluid
Indi’s doting family keep a bedside vigil, including her three elder sisters, Vienna, six, Olivia, 13 (pictured) who is Ms Staniforth’s daughter from a previous relationship, and a 19-year-old from Mr Gregory’s previous relationship, who is also called Olivia
Indi, born in February, has spent all of her young life in hospitals, and has had multiple operations and other procedures to keep her alive. Her doting family keep a bedside vigil, including her three elder sisters Vienna, six, Olivia, 13, who is Ms Staniforth’s daughter from a previous relationship, and a 19-year-old from Mr Gregory’s previous relationship, also called Olivia.
After doctors and the parents failed to agree on Indi’s care, the hospital decided to ask the High Court to make a ruling. The judge has asked a court-appointed social worker to act as Indi’s ‘voice’ in the proceedings.
Michelle Rhodes, the Chief Nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, has said: ‘Cases like this are so difficult and we are of course saddened that we are unable to do more for Indi, but we will always act in the best interests of our patients and do all we can to advocate for them when needed.’
Indi’s family have set up a fundraising page for legal aid which can be found here.
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