Hundreds of supporters gather to mourn death of British toddler Alfie Evans

Journalists outside Alder Hey. Credit PA

Alfie had a rare degenerative brain condition that left him with nearly no brain function, and multiple courts ruled that keeping him alive was not in his best interests. "We are heartbroken", his mother, Kate James, posted on a Facebook page, "Alfies Army". He said he and his wife were "absolutely heartbroken", adding, "I LOVE YOU MY GUY".

"My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30", his father, Thomas Evans wrote on Facebook. The head of the Catholic Church also met with Alfie's Father Tom Evans at the Vatican.

"I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie", tweeted Pope Francis when he heard of the boy's passing.

James, 20, posted a message on social media thanking everyone who supported the family through Alfie's illness and court fight. It also prohibited his parents from seeking treatment elsewhere.

Charlie's parents fought a long and public battle to prolong his life, but bowed to the consensus of medical experts who said there was no realistic chance of saving him: The child had irreversible brain damage.

Malcolm McMahon, the RC Archbishop of Liverpool, said: "All who have been touched by the story of this little boy's heroic struggle for life will feel this loss deeply". Alfie's parents were supported by Pope Francis, whom they visited earlier to week to ask for help, and Poland's President Andrzej Duda.

Before that, Pope Francis sent out a tweet supporting Alfie.

Alfie's life support was turned off two days ago. Trump has not mentioned Alfie's case. "The only author of life, from its beginning to its natural end, is God", he said. "It is our duty to do all that is possible to safeguard life".

The controversy of care mirrored another British case that drew attention worldwide. The situation has been exacerbated by a bleed between the legal situation in Britain and the USA, with the former placing emphasis on parental rights, and the United Kingdom, where the "law takes the best interests of the child as definitive and assumes parents make the decision in their best interest", with parental responsibilities and duties having the emphasis rather than rights, says Dr. Iain Brassington, senior lecturer at the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy at Manchester University.

We invite you to share condolences for Alfie Evans in our Guest Book.

Doctors overseeing Alfie's care in the city of Liverpool said further treatment was futile and not in his best interests, and that he should be allowed to die.

When the court did not rule in their favor, the parents appealed the decision and, after that appeal was lost, the case was referred to the Supreme Court.

During the legal dispute, the couple had criticized the hospital fiercely, and Thomas Evans described his son as a "prisoner".

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