Published: Tue, May 01, 2018
Health Care | By Alice Shelton

Family, supporters mourn death of Alfie Evans

Family, supporters mourn death of Alfie Evans

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has said he believes everything possible was done to help Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old boy who died last weekend from an undiagnosed and incurable degenerative neurological condition.

Doctors had removed Alfie's life-support following a High Court judge's ruling on Monday but he continued to live.

Alfie stayed alive for almost a week, breathing on his own until the early hours of Saturday morning.

"Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 a.m. We loved you." In Alfie's final days, Tom Evans said he was working with doctors at the hospital to give his son "dignity and comfort" and thanked the staff "for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly hard time for them too".

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.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the most senior Catholic cleric in England and Wales said it was right for a court to "decide what's best not for the parents, but for the child".

After an outpouring of support from the Pope, the Italian and Polish community rallied around Alfie's Army, holding vigils in Krakow and Vatican City.

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Italy has sent a military plane to Britain to transport Alfie to Rome if the courts allow it. Alfie has also been granted Italian citizenship to facilitate his arrival and transport.

"He is still working, he's doing as good as he can", Evans said to The Telegraph.

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Alfie was taken off life support on 23 April and survived for a further four days.

Officials in Poland and Italy criticized Britain's courts and state-run National Health Service.

High Court judge Mr Justice Hayden said in his ruling: "The sad truth is that it is not".

The pope, who met with Alfie's father last week, has offered public prayers for Alfie and his family several times, including at a general audience and in several Twitter posts. Gingrich was referring to the death Charlie Gard, who died in July 2017, in a similar case to Alfie's.

Alfie's mum Kate James shared a poem on Facebook, with the words "we love you Alfie".

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.

Rallies in support of Alfie's parents have been held throughout the week in London, Washington, D.C., NY and the Vatican, with pilgrims gathering to pray the rosary in St. Peter's Square each night leading up to the toddler's death.

Their support for Tom and Kate came as they launched their campaign for Charlie's Law, a Bill which they hope will give families more rights over what happens to their sick children.

But perhaps seeing that there was little opportunity left to fight for Alfie's rights and their right to take him overseas or take him home or sensing a need to appease the hospital to bring him home, Tom Evans struck a conciliatory tone.

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