"My gladiator lay down his shield": Toddler Alfie Evans dies in Britain

The terminally ill 23-month-old British toddler at the center of a legal battle died on Saturday. We understand the last few months have been hard for them. "Today i pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him into his tender embrace".

Others left flowers outside the medical centre, with messages such as: We fell in love with a little boy we never knew. Fly high little man; and Alfie you stole the heart of the world!

More than a 1,000 people are said to have been there.

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Alfie Evans in the hospital in Liverpool.

Alfie's parents took to Facebook to announce their sons passing, saying: "Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 am". Thankyou everyone for all your support.

On Facebook he wrote: "My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings. absolutely heartbroken", the BBC reported.

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Alder Hey, which has seen crowds of protesters gather outside its doors, released a statement earlier this week from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health stressing that "decisions to withhold or withdraw treatment from a child are not made lightly" and are based on a clear framework.

In March of this year, the European Court of Human Rights said the decision of Britain's High Courts to allow doctors to stop treating Alfie did not violate his human rights.

The hospital where the boy was treated said his scans showed "catastrophic degradation of his brain tissue" and that further treatment was not only "futile" but also "unkind and inhumane", according to the BBC. On Wednesday, the British Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that approved the withdrawal of care and sustenance.

Although Italian officials earlier this week granted Alfie citizenship and a Vatican-linked hospital offered to take the toddler for further diagnosis and treatment, United Kingdom courts repeatedly refused to allow the transfer, ruling that it is not in the child's best interest.

But the boy's parents fought in court, all the way up to the British Court of Appeal, to keep him on life support.

The public nature of the family's fight with doctors has led to the case being a cause celebre for some groups.

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"My heart aches for you Tom and Katie and all of Alfies family".

Mr Evans said their lives had been "turned upside down" by the "intense focus" his case had received.

Kate and Tom Evans.

Now it is time for us to give Tom and Kate space to grieve their son's death and offer our prayers for him and consolation for all.

All of us feel deeply for Alfie, Kate, Tom and his whole family and our thoughts are with them.

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  • Jermaine Castillo