A terminally ill boy has returned home to Canada after receiving life-extending help from doctors in the U.S.
Fifteen-month-old Joseph Maraachli left Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis before dawn Thursday and flew with his parents and 7-year-old brother back to Canada, exactly one month after receiving a tracheotomy.
Josheph, who's spent much of his life hospitalized because of a neurological disorder, was denied medical care by the government-run hospitals in Canada. Doctors there had tried to remove him from life support against his parents' wishes.
The Catholic group Priests for Life eventually stepped in to help fund a trip for Joseph to have surgery at the St. Louis facility.
"We at Priests for Life continue to challenge those in our society -- whether medical professionals, government officials, or anyone else -- to stop putting a price tag on human life," said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.
Joseph is breathing on his own after being taken off a ventilator.
"This is such a joyous time for the family and those who worked to ensure that 'Baby Joseph' received the medical care and treatment he needed and deserved," said CeCe Heil, senior counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, who assisted in securing medical assistance for the baby.
"We are so thrilled that 'Baby Joseph' is safe and sound at home with his family," she continued. "He is truly a miracle, as he continues to defy doctors, now breathing on his own for two weeks."
"We are honored to play a part in giving this little boy a chance to live, and can't thank Cardinal Glennon and Dr. Wilmott enough for what they have done," Heil said. "It is fitting that this celebration of life unfolds during Easter week."