British toddler whose parents fought to maintain life support dies

29 April, 2018, 01:45 | Author: Joshua Bennett
  • Alfie evans

Alfie Evans, the sick British toddler whose parents won support from Pope Francis during a protracted legal battle over his medical treatment, died early Saturday.

A year ago in a hospice in the United Kingdom is dead 11-month-old boy, Charlie Gard, who was born with a rare genetic disease. "Thank you everyone for all your support", his mother Kate James wrote.

Alfie Evans' parents announced their son's death early Saturday, losing the fight against his degenerative neurological condition, which had not been diagnosed.

The pope's tweets about the boy drew significant attention, prompting comparisons to Charlie Gard, a British baby who died previous year despite his parents' fight - with the expressed support of Pope Francis and President Donald Trump - to keep him on life support.

Earlier this week the pontiff wrote on Twitter that he hoped the parents' "desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted".

Nonetheless, the hospital took Evans off life support on Monday, against his parent's wishes.

"My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30", his father, Thomas Evans wrote on Facebook. On Thursday, however, he thanked the family's supporters but asked them to go home so the parents could build a relationship with the hospital to provide the toddler "with the dignity and comfort he needs".

Evans had been in a semi-vegetative state for more than a year and the hospital he had been treated at in Liverpool, England concluded that any further treatment would be in vain.

The parents of Ashya King defied professionals in 2014 when they snatched their cancer-stricken son from a British hospital and took him to Prague for proton beam therapy.


Supporters of Alfie's parents protested outside the hospital, prompting its bosses to defend staff who they said had endured a "barrage" of abuse.

The words "Save Alfie Evans" were written out on pieces of paper and placed at the front. We understand the last few months have been hard for them.

The case is the latest in a series of high-profile battles between parents of seriously ill children and the British authorities.

"All of us feel deeply for Alfie, Kate, Tom and his whole family and our thoughts are with them", the statement said. "This has been a devastating journey for them", it said.

Alfie's case sparked a medical ethics debate that resonated far beyond Britain. Francis recently appealed for the wishes of the boy's parents to be heeded, saying only God can decide who dies.

Italy granted Alfie citizenship and put a military plane on standby to transport him to Rome, if the courts allowed it.

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

Support for the toddler grew by the minute all over the globe.

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