Alfie Evans, whose parents were involved in a four month long legal battle with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to prevent his life support being removed, passed away at 2.30am last night. Alfie had surprised everyone when his ventilation support was removed last week but he continued to live for several nights, breathing unaided. His father, who announced the news earlier today, posted the following to Facebook:
My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30 😥😢😥😢😥 absolutely heartbroken💔😭 I LOVE YOU MY GUY💙💙💙👨👦👨👦Posted by Thomas Evans on Friday, 27 April 2018
“My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings... absolutely heartbroken.”
Meanwhile Alder Hey staff have expressed their own sympathy in a recent statement:
“All of us feel deeply for Alfie, Kate, Tom and his whole family and our thoughts are with them. This has been a devastating journey for them.”
Most recently, Alfie’s parents were denied their request to fly their son to Italy to seek further treatment after Pope Francis and the Italian government reached out and offered Alfie Italian citizenship. High Courts, however, ruled it was not in Alfie’s interests to seek further treatment.
Alfie suffered from an unknown disorder that resulted in the rapid deterioration of his brain tissue, somewhat similar to Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Except, in this case, the degeneration was incredibly quick and severe. Alfie was first admitted to hospital after he began experiencing seizures, and he remained there for the rest of his life. Alfie’s parents were adamant he had been misdiagnosed, but both doctors and courts believed that the severe breakdown of Alfie’s brain meant that it was futile and inhumane to continue treating him.
Over 70% of Alfie’s brain had disappeared, only to be replaced with fluid. As the deterioration began affecting parts of his brain that regulated his breathing and heartbeat it became necessary for doctors to use life-support to keep him alive. Eventually, they argued it was no longer right to keep Alfie alive using these machines, since he would never be able to recover.
RIP Alfie Evans.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 28, 2018
My deepest condolences to his parents, who fought so hard for their brave little boy. pic.twitter.com/pKfup3J7bX
The legal battle surrounding Alfie has engulfed the UK public and press, and police were forced to intervene after advocates for keeping Alfie alive sent death threats to Alder Hey staff and, at one point, tried to force entry into the hospital.