Praise God! In a covert action, under the cover of darkness, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests For Life headed an operation to save Baby Joseph from Canadian health care and bring him to the United States. Baby Joseph and his father were flown to and are now at Baby Joseph needed to be transferred to a hospital that didn't label efforts to save his life as "futile". Fr. Frank realized that efforts to save Baby Joseph became a race against time and that his presence in Canada was needed to ensure that the rescue operation took place in time to save him. Baby Joseph was saved just hours before he was to be taken off life support. God Bless Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests For Life for all of their great works.
From Priests For Life:
"I knew, after this dragged on day after day, that I needed to be here myself to get Baby Joseph to safety," said Father Pavone. "He needs to be in a hospital that cherishes life over the bottom line. After around-the-clock negotiations, this really became a race against time." Father Pavone was accompanied by Priests for Life staff, who were there to assure the transfer proceeded smoothly.
Baby Joseph and his father, Moe Maraachli, were flown with Father Pavone to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis, Mo., on a specially equipped air ambulance provided by Michigan-based Kalitta Charters, and sponsored and paid for by the New York City-based Priests for Life.
"If there is a chance this boy can live, we have to explore every option," said Father Pavone, who was to arrive back home in New York earlier today after weekend speaking engagements in Cleveland. Instead, he flew to Detroit and then on to Canada, vowing not to leave the country until he had Baby Joseph and his father with him.
"Priests for Life staff toiled through the night for many nights, working in concert with dozens of people to make this possible," Father Pavone said of the nighttime rescue mission. "Now that we have won the battle against the medical bureaucracy in Canada, the real work of saving Baby Joseph can begin."
Father Pavone said Baby Joseph's transfer was accomplished through the efforts of a number of people, including his parents; family spokesman Sam Sansalone; family attorney Claudio Martini; Bobby Schindler of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, St. Petersburg, Fla.; 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, also in D.C. Father Frank also thanked the many other Canadian pro-life groups and individuals who have been consistent and heroic in their advocacy for Baby Joseph and for all the vulnerable.
"We are united across national boundaries to continue to work together for a Culture of Life," Father Pavone said.
SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center opened in 1956 and was named in memory of Cardinal John Glennon, Archbishop of St. Louis from 1903 until his death in 1946. The hospital was a fulfillment of Cardinal Glennon's vision of a health-care facility open to all children in need of medical care. The hospital is part of SSM Healthcare, which is run by the Franciscan Sisters of Mary. The system has 19 acute-care hospitals in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.
Here are more pictures of the rescue operation:
May God continue to work miracles in Baby Joseph's life.