U.S. Grants Visa to U.K.'s Alta Fixsler, Brain-Damaged 2-Year-Old Ordered Off Life Support

The U.S. has granted a visa to 2-year-old Alta Fixsler and her father so she can travel from the U.K. to receive care after a British court ruled she should be taken off life support against her parents' wishes.

"Today U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced that the visa for Alta has been urgently approved and obtained, which will allow her and her U.S. citizen father, Mr. Abraham Fixsler, to travel to the United States and receive care," a statement from the senator's office said Friday.

Alta, who cannot breathe or eat without medical care, has been on life support since her birth at a hospital in Manchester. Earlier this year, the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust asked to end her treatment, but her parents said that taking her off life support would go against their Jewish faith.

In May, a British High Court ruled that her life-sustaining care should be withdrawn, as it is in her "best interests" because she has "no prospect of recovery."

Her parents asked that they be allowed to take Alta to a hospital in Jerusalem to continue receiving care instead, as they are both Israeli citizens.

But Justice Alistair MacDonald ruled that taking her abroad would expose Alta to further discomfort "for no medical benefit in circumstances where all parties accept that the treatment options now available for Alta provide no prospect of recovery."

Chuck Schumer Atla Fixsler Visa Granted U.S.
On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that a visa had been granted for 2-year-old Alta Fixsler so she can travel to the U.S. from the U.K. to continue receiving medical treatment. Above, Schumer talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol on June 23. Samuel Corum/Stringer

Senior Israel officials have engaged in numerous attempts to intervene in the case but have been unsuccessful. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin wrote a letter to Prince Charles last month urging him to help bring Alta to Israel, although no changes to her case have been made since.

Several U.S. senators have also spoken out in support of Alta and her family. A group of 10 Republican senators sent a letter to President Joe Biden on June 22 urging him to ask British Prime Minster Boris Johnson to intervene.

Last week, Schumer wrote to the U.K.'s U.S. ambassador, Karen Pierce, requesting that the U.K. suspend all health decisions regarding Alta and that the U.K. allow the girl to travel to the U.S. with her father, who holds dual citizenship.

On Friday, Schumer announced the visa had been secured.

"All the Fixslers want is to follow their faith and get their little girl the best care in the process," Schumer said in a press release. "The images of little Alta make your heart melt and to know just how much parents love her inspires us to do all we can to ensure her best chances. Aside from this federal action of securing a visa, I also offer my most fervent prayers to her and her family."