CNA Staff, Nov 13, 2023 / 15:15 pm (CNA).
Despite not being religious, Dean Gregory, the father of 8-month-old Indi Gregory, expressed that his time in court fighting for his daughter’s life felt like he had been “dragged to hell.” The experience moved him to decide to have his daughter baptized.
“I am not religious and I am not baptized,” Gregory told an Italian newspaper in an interview. “But when I was in court I felt like I had been dragged to hell. I thought that if hell exists, then heaven must also exist.”
He added: “It was as if the devil was there. I thought that if the devil exists, then God must exist.”
During Indi’s time in the neonatal intensive care unit, a Christian volunteer visited daily. It was during those visits, Gregory explained, that he was told “baptism protects you and opens the door to heaven for you.”
“I’ve seen what hell is like and I want Indi to go to heaven,” he expressed.
Indi was baptized on Sept. 22.
Gregory added that he has also decided to be baptized: “We want to be protected in this life and go to heaven.”
The Gregorys were aware of Indi’s health complications before birth. Routine ultrasounds carried out during pregnancy showed that she had fluid in her brain and heart problems. Due to this, doctors pressured the couple to have an abortion.
Immediately after Indi was born on Feb. 24, Gregory said everything seemed fine. But a few hours later, she stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated. Things got worse when she began to have seizures that were at times hard to control and prolonged.
It wasn’t until Indi was 2 months old that a genetic test revealed that she suffered from a rare degenerative mitochondrial disease. She had been receiving life-sustaining treatment on a ventilator at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, England.
After England’s high court ruled that it was in the child’s “best interests” to be taken off life support against her parents’ wishes, the Italian government granted the critically ill child Italian citizenship on Nov. 6 and agreed to cover the cost of her medical treatment at the Vatican’s pediatric hospital, Bambino Gesù.
Indi’s parents repeatedly appealed in U.K. courts to be able to take their baby to Rome for treatment but lost their legal battle when the second-highest court in the U.K. ruled on Nov. 10 that Indy’s life support be removed “immediately.”
Her treatment at Bambino Gesù would have been carried out at no cost to U.K. taxpayers.
Indi died in her mother’s arms in hospice on Nov. 13.
In a statement released through Christian Concern, a British advocacy group, Indi’s parents said they “are angry, heartbroken, and ashamed. The NHS and the courts not only took away her chance to live a longer life, but they also took away Indi’s dignity to pass away in the family home where she belonged.”