Ace Field: 8-year-old boy's life support finally turned off after he was left brain-dead on Barbados holiday
PORTSMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM: Government officials have finally turned off the life support of an eight-year-old boy who was declared brain dead after suffering a seizure on a trip to Barbados. The parents of the boy, mother Amber and father David, were battling with the authorities after hospital bosses intervened to stop their son's life support from being switched off even after there was no chance that the boy would recover.
Ace Field was just like any other normal child when he arrived in Barbados for a family trip from Portsmouth last week with his mother, who is no longer in a relationship with Ace's father. However, he was rushed to the hospital after he was feeling ill on Tuesday, January 3. A series of scans revealed he was suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia and later his health worsened even more because of a massive bleed on his brain.
Until January 8, Ace was sitting up in his hospital bed, FaceTiming friends and playing card games with his parents before his condition rapidly deteriorated. He suffered a catastrophic seizure within minutes of coming down with a headache and never regained consciousness after that. To get the hospital bosses to listen to them, Ace's family were helped by a local councillor who got the Foreign Office involved and also contacted the Prime Minister of Barbados.
According to the local law, the life support machine is not supposed to be turned off as long as there's a heartbeat. But Ace's family had said that the "cruel" law only delayed the inevitable. Amber had shared a photo of her and Ace at Disneyland on Tuesday, January 10, writing, "My baby boy you will always be, no matter where you are, you are the biggest part of me, whether near or far." She said the "cruel and evil" law extended her pain in an update posted on her social media on Friday, January 13.
Before life support was turned off, the mother fiercely advocated for her son, saying, "My poor baby is [lying] there brain dead, he doesn’t know he is here. He does not know that we are here and they are keeping his body alive to contract infections as the cancer makes his immune system so weak. In the UK, once you are declared brain dead, your body is declared dead, I cannot understand why they are doing this to us."
She had added, "Doctors here in Barbados & the UK agree that it should be [turned] off as it would in the UK, but they have been overruled. This is cruel and evil, sitting beside your child knowing they are dead and a ventilator is still making their heart beat. I just want to get him home but this is proving impossible."
Emma Wearn, the boy's aunt, had described the prolonged wait for the hospital to switch off life support as a "living nightmare," according to Daily Mail. When Ace's mother was informed that his son would not survive, about 15 of Ace's closest relatives had flown to Barbados to say their final goodbyes. Ace's uncle Joey said Amber is left "devastated" by the death of her only child. "Ace has not had any treatment for leukaemia because he's dead," he told The Sun. He added that Ace was "like a son" to him, describing him as a "loving, caring, cheeky little boy," when he was alive and well.