British toddler at centre of legal battle dies

Alfie Evans latest news update Instagram

Alfie Evans latest news update Instagram

The heartbroken parents of Alfie Evans say their son died early this morning after a long legal battle to prolong his life.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, 23-month-old Alfie Evans yielded up his spirit, after days of fighting on after staff at Alder Hey Children's Hospital removed his ventilator in an act meant to result in his death.

'We are heart broken. "We are heartbroken. Thank you everyone for all your support", the mother, Kate James, wrote on Facebook.

After a series of court cases, doctors at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool removed his life support on Monday, April 23, against his parents' wishes.

Mr Evans said their lives had been "turned upside down" by the "intense focus" his case had received.

In a statement, Alder Hey wrote: 'We wish to express our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Alfie's family at this extremely distressing time. "This has been a devastating journey for them".

Prior to Alfie's passing, his father thanked everyone for their support and requested privacy to facilitate reconciliation with the hospital authorities.

Alfie had a rare, degenerative disease and had been in a semi-vegetative state for more than a year. "Today i pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him into his tender embrace".

Earlier in April, Evans pleaded with him to "save our son" during a meeting in Rome.

Alfie, who was born in May 2016, was first admitted to Alder Hey hospital the following December after suffering seizures, and had been a patient at the hospital ever since.

After being in a coma for over a year before his life-support was stopped after appeals and pleas to the judges and courts failed.

"The only master of life, from the beginning to its natural end, is God, and our duty is to do everything to protect life", he said.

The hospital said in a statement that it consulted with outside doctors, including ones in Rome, who concluded that the child's condition was irreversible and untreatable. Italy has provided Alfie citizenship. Hundreds of people gathered that day in the hospital and tried to storm the building.

British law states that parents "cannot demand a particular treatment to be continued where the burdens of the treatment clearly outweigh the benefits for the child", Agence France-Presse reported. If Alfie's parent were to do this, they would be charged with child abuse, but under Britain's system of socialized medicine, it's simply a hospital decision reinforced by a court ruling. But his parents fought for months to try to convince judges to allow them to take him to the Vatican's children's hospital so he could be kept on life support.

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