Alfie Evans dies 5 days after hospital yanks his life support

29 April, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Stuart Potter
  • Police stand guard outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Alfie Evans, a terminally ill toddler whose medical case set off a high-profile legal battle and global debates about health care and parental rights, died early Saturday morning, his parents said on social media.

The Bradley Lowery Foundation, named after the six-year-old boy who died after suffering from neuroblastoma, paid tribute to Alfie's parents, saying "they did everything they could for their little boy". "My Gladiator laid down his shield and got wings... my heart is absolutely broken", - he wrote.

His parents, Tom Evans, 21, and 20-year-old Kate James, had fought to keep him on life-support as they sought innovative treatment outside their native UK.

He said: "Our little family along with Alder Hey has become the centre of attention for many people around the world and it has meant we have not been able to live our lives as we would like".

"This has been a devastating journey for them", the hospital said.

Supporters began to leave floral tributes outside the hospital and a post on the "Alfie's Army" Facebook page, which has 801,000 members, said balloons would be released from a park near the facility later on Saturday.

Alfie's parents have been backed by Pope Francis and Poland's President Andrzej Duda.

Alfie was admitted to Alder Hey Hospital in December 2016. "Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace", he said.

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After his life support was switched off, however, Alfie confounded expectations by continuing to breathe unaided for days. Pope Francis personally met with Thomas Evans.

"I wish to repeat and strongly confirm that the only master of life from the beginning until the natural end is God".

His parents said that the youngster had defied doctors' expectations and they took their case to the Court of Appeal, but the application to take him overseas was rejected.

Italy granted citizenship to the toddler on Monday in the hope of facilitating his transfer to the Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) paediatric hospital in Rome. His parents also demanded from the authorities not to disconnect the child from life support.

The death came after an easing of tensions between the family and the hospital.

In a statement posted Thursday on Facebook, Evans thanked hospital staff "at every level for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly hard time for them too".

In February, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors at Alder Hey could stop treating Alfie against the wishes of his parents because medical evidence showed that further treatment was futile.

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