A six-year-old boy who was at the centre of a court case will be going home from Ste-Justine Hospital on Monday, about two months after a judge ruled that doctors could remove his breathing tube despite his parents’ objections.

The child, whose identity is protected due to a publication ban, had been in a coma after nearly drowning last June.

His family and a group of their friends gathered in front of the hospital in the morning to “thank God for his miraculous,” recovery, his mother said.

After he was extubated on Feb. 16 the boy began breathing on his own and his family said his condition has continued to improve.

Speaking to reporters, his father explained that his son doesn’t speak, “but he reacts, we see when he hears our voice.”

His mother described how on the day of the accident they were convinced their son had died because he didn’t exhibit any vital signs when he arrived at the hospital.

He remained in a coma with a breathing tube in place while a battle about how to treat him medically made its way through the justice system.

At issue was whether or not the young patient should have his breathing tube removed permanently.

Court documents revealed that the boy had suffered irreversible brain damage, according to his medical team. Still, doctors at the children’s hospital said they believed the child would be able to breathe on his own and wanted to remove him from the machine assisting him.

The parents however did not want him extubated – not because they wanted the boy to remain on a ventilator permanently, they explained to CTV News through their lawyer Patrick Menard in December, but because they wanted the hospital to re-intubate the boy if something went wrong.

The hospital argued in court, however, that the child should receive end-of-life care if he stops breathing because the risks associated with intubation outweigh the expected benefits.

On Jan. 18, Quebec’s Court of Appeal ruled that Ste-Justine could permanently remove the breathing tube, affirming a Superior Court ruling.

On Monday, Menard said that even though the family lost the case they are very happy their son survived and do understand the arguments the hospital put forward. He said that the boy’s mother even has medical training.

“My clients have often been portrayed as being disconnected from the medical reality and nothing could be further from the truth. They are very aware of their child’s medical condition and are following it very closely,” Menard said.

This story will be updated.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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