by Jennifer Brinker
Baby Joseph Maraachli, a 13-month-old Canadian boy suffering from a progressive neurodegenerative disease, arrived in St. Louis early this morning to receive care at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.
Bob Davidson, spokesman for Cardinal Glennon, confirmed that Joseph and his family, accompanied by Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, arrived at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield at midnight.
“Our medical team is currently evaluating his condition and they’ll be forming the best treatment plan going forward,” said Davidson. The hospital plans to announce the plan of care at a press conference tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Priests for Life has issued the following video taken of Baby Joseph and another video of Father Pavone and Moe Maraachli, both taken March 14.
Joseph previously had been a patient at London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario. A press release from Priests for Life noted that the hospital had been delaying Joseph’s transfer to another hospital, and that the hospital in London had called efforts to save his life “futile.”
”I knew, after this dragged on day after day, that I needed to be here myself to get Baby Joseph to safety,” Father Pavone said in a statement. “If there is a chance this boy can live, we have to explore every option.”
In a statement March 13, London Health Sciences Centre said the Maraachli family's decision to bring Baby Joseph to St. Louis by air was going against the "strongest possible medical advice."
Father Pavone said that Joseph’s transfer to Cardinal Glennon was made possible through the efforts of a number of people, including the child’s parents, Bobby Schindler of the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network, Dr. Martin McCaffrey, a neonatologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Medical School, the Rev. Pat Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition in Washington, D.C., and attorney CeCe Heil from the American Center for Law and Justice in Washington, D.C., among others.