Alfie Evans, the sick British toddler whose parents won support from Pope Francis during a protracted legal battle over his treatment, died early Saturday. He was 23 months old.
Kate James and Tom Evans made the announcement on social media, saying they were “heartbroken.” The death of Alfie, who had a rare degenerative brain condition that left him in a “semi-vegetative state” with almost no brain function, came five days after doctors removed life support.
Doctors overseeing Alfie’s care in the city of Liverpool said that further treatment was futile and not in his best interests and that he should be allowed to die. 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. The parents’ campaign was backed by the pope and Christian groups, which helped draw international attention to the case.
The hospital withdrew Alfie’s life support Monday after a series of court rulings sided with the doctors and blocked further medical treatment.