Hundreds of tearful supporters of Alfie Evans and his family gathered at a park near Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to release balloons today to honor the little boy after his death.
Five days after a children’s hospital yanked his life support without his parent’s permission, little Alfie Evans has died. Alfie’s death comes after a massive legal battle between the hospital and his parents Tom and Kate.
An administrator of the Alfie Army Facebook page posted a video of the moving ceremony.
Supporters shouted “I love you” and let off balloons outside Alder Hey hospital as the world paid tribute to the “warrior who lay down his shield.” A tearful crowd sang You’ll Never Walk Alone and released blue and purple heart-shaped inflatables into the sky above Liverpool, where Alfie spent his short life.
One supporter was heard shouting “I love you Alfie!” during a countdown to the release, while others chanted his name.
In posts on Facebook, Alfie’s mother and father confirmed his passing.
“Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 am. We are heart broken. Thank you everyone for all your support,” she wrote.
“My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30 absolutely heartbroken,” the boy’s father Tom Evans wrote on Facebook.
Pope Francis has responded to the death of little Alfie Evans, the disabled boy who died just days short of his 2nd birthday. The leader of the Catholic Church expressed the kind of sentiments that people around the world are expressing today. He talked about his sadness and he talked about Alfie being embraced by the Lord in heaven.
“I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace,” the pope tweeted on Saturday.
The legal battle sparked anger nationwide in England but also internationally as people stood up for Alfie’s parents and strongly opposed courts and hospitals making life and death decisions for patients over their families objections.
There is concern that the hospital contributed to his death.
As LifeNews reported, after removing his life support without permission, officials at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital waited 28 hours before finally feeding the 23-month old boy, who was fighting a rare neurological condition. Alfie’s Father Tom Evans confirmed at the time that his son was finally being fed but he condemned hospital officials for waiting so long to finally get him the nutrition he needs.
“They only started feeding him at one ‘o’clock yesterday. It’s disgusting how he’s being treated,” Evans said. “Not even an animal would be treated like this. He’s proving them wrong. It’s time to give him some grace and dignity and let him go home or to Italy.”
The other day, Alfie’s parents changed course and decided to end their battle.
Alfie Evans’ father Tom Evans called for supporters of Alfie and his family to “stand down” so they can begin “building a bridge” with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and its staff. The statement from Alfie’s father was surprising given the animosity that had developed between the Evans family and the hospital. Hospital officials have spent months in court preventing Alfie’s family from taking him to a hospital in Italy or even taking him home. Hospital officials even went as far as misleading courts by saying that they never said Alfie would die quickly after his life support was removed — even though they initially said Alfie would die within minutes after yanking his life support over his parents’ objections.
But perhaps seeing that there was little opportunity left to fight for Alfie’s rights and their right to take him abroad or take him home or sensing a need to appease the hospital to bring him home, Tom Evans struck a conciliatory tone.
Later, the family of Alfie Evans blasted a false news report saying his parents are supposedly preparing for his death.
Alfie’s parents had hoped to take the little boy to the hospital in order to potentially get experiemental treatment that could help his rare degenerative neurological condition but courts repeatedly denied that. Justice Hayden ruled that Alfie’s family would not be able to fly him to Italy for treatment and appeared to say that this was the final decision related to his case. He said flying Alfie to Italy could harm his health because, as court testimony indicated, the flight could trigger possible “continuous seizures due to stimulations” of the flight. But Alfie’s parents are concerned Alfie will die if he doesn’t get care and possible experimental treatment in Italy.
A British doctors group, The Medical Ethics Alliance, expressed its horror over the treatment of Alfie Evans that it called a “medical tyranny.”
And Italy’s Healthcare Chief has slammed the decisions by UK courts to treat Alfie the way that they had. The President of the Italian National Institute of Health lambasted the UK High Court’s decision yesterday on Alfie Evans’ that resulted it the children’s hospital being allowed to remove life support over Alfie’s parents’ objections.
Pope Francis repeatedly spoken on Alfie’s behalf and urged that Alfie’s parents be allowed to bring him to Italy.
Members of Parliament are leading a new campaign for a law to prevent the tragic situation happening to Alfie Evans and his parents from happening to any other family. The new campaign calls on MPs to debate the matter in the House of Commons – with potential plans for “Alfie’s Law.”