Hundreds of supporters gather to mourn death of British toddler Alfie Evans

Grant Boone
May 3, 2018

"My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30", Evans, 21, said in Facebook post decorated with a broken heart and crying emojis. "Absolutely heartbroken. I LOVE YOU MY GUY".

James, 20, posted a message on social media thanking everyone who supported the family through Alfie's illness and court fight.

Alfie's parents heavily criticized both the outcome of the court case and the medical staff at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, where Alfie had been since December 2016, calling their son a "prisoner". During that time, he was kept alive by artificial ventilation in the critical care unit.

The 23-month-old died early on Saturday (local time), five days after he was taken off life support.

Alfie had a rare degenerative brain condition that left him with nearly no brain function, and multiple courts ruled that keeping him alive was not in his best interests.

Alfie garnered worldwide attention during his family's legal battle, even drawing attention from Pope Francis, who tweeted Saturday that he was "deeply moved" by Alfie's death. "Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace", he said.

The youngster was suffering from an undiagnosed neuro-degenerative disease and has been at Alder Hey hospital for treatment since he was six months old. High Court Justice Anthony Hayden dismissed the parents' case, saying his ruling was "the final chapter in the life of this extraordinary little boy".

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It's a bit depressing and a bit sad for me - he has done a lot for me in a short time in my career. I will have to improve and I best not say anything else.

His life support has been withdrawn since Monday due to the court decision, but he had been breathing on his own, leading to failed last-minute appeals to transfer him to Italy in hopes of extending his life.

Alfie's case received much attention outside Britain, especially in Catholic countries.

It added: "All of us feel deeply for Alfie, Kate, Tom and his whole family and our thoughts are with them". "This has been a devastating journey for them".

He thanked the hospital staff "for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly hard time for them too".

However, judges sided with doctors who said there was no chance of recovery.

Alder Hey made the decision to stop treating him, saying that continued active treatment is futile and not in Alfie's best interests.

"In hard situations such as these, and amongst the plethora of voices and opinions, it is important that the public know how such decisions are made".

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