Pope Francis Expresses Sadness Over Death Of Baby Alfie

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

Tom Evans said on Facebook that he was "absolutely heartbroken" after his son passed away.

"Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 am", wrote Alfie's mother, Kate James."We are heart broken". Thankyou everyone for all your support.

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".

Watch the BBC's video of the balloon release in memory of Alfie. Since then, he remained a patient.

Protesters, nicknamed "Alfie's Army", had taken up the boy's case, and even tried to rush the hospital after he was taken off life support.

Alder Hey made the decision to stop treating him, saying that continued active treatment is futile and not in Alfie's best interests.

The parents' lawyers, from the Christian Legal Centre, had vowed to continue their appeals. "We could take it further but would that be the right thing to do, would there be more criticism?"

The hospital withdrew Alfie's life support Monday after a series of court rulings sided with the doctors and blocked further medical treatment.

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The Holy Father tweeted: "It is my honest hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard". Tom and Kate have been the most fearless and courageous parents. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family". "Please respect the family's grief and privacy at this time".

The hospital issued a statement Saturday expressing its "heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Alfie's family at this extremely distressing time". "We also wish to thank Alder Hey staff at every level of their dignity and professionalism during what must have been an incredibly hard time for them too".

The case drew the attention of Pope Francis, who offered to fly the child to Rome and care for him at a hospital in the Vatican.

Pope Francis took to Twitter and wrote,"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", he said.

Above all, we must thank Tom and Kate for their unstinting love of their son, and the staff at Alder Hey Hospital for their professional care of Alfie. Karen & I are praying for comfort and peace for his parents, Katie & Tom, during this incredibly hard time.

Another, Mary Fiander, wrote, "God bless you, attractive Alfie". 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".

"What truly wonderful parents you are".

  • Myrtle Hill