By Dave Andrusko
Alfie Evans, whose “Alfie’s Army” enlisted recruits from all over the world, died early Saturday morning, five days after being taken off his ventilator by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital which refused to allow his parents to take him to Italy for further examination and possible treatment.
The hospital also managed to drag out negotiations with his father, Thomas Evans, so there was no opportunity for the grievously ill 23-month-old toddler to die at home with Mr. Evans and Kate James, Alfie’s mother.
Alfie’s death was announced on the Facebook page of Alfie’s Army and on Mr. Evans personal Facebook page.
My gladiator lay down his shield and
gained his wings at 02:30 😥😢😥😢😥
I LOVE YOU MY GUY💙💙💙👨👦 👨👦
Two British newspapers, the Mirror and the Liverpool Echo, carried extensively coverage all throughout the pitched battle between the hospital and Evans, 21, and James, 20. Their careful but sympathetic coverage included dozens of photos of grief-stricken supporters when informed Alfie had died.
There were emotional scenes today as Alfie Evans supporters released hundreds of balloons into the sky in memory of the “warrior” toddler.
More than 1,000 supporters, both young and old, gathered in a park near Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to pay tribute to the little boy.
Clutching blue and purple balloons, they chanted Alfie’s name before a young girl began singing Christina Perri’s hit, ‘A Thousand Years’.
Mourners could also be seen sobbing and consoling each other, before the countless balloons were released into the air at about 2.50pm.
Alfie’s parents lost a lengthy string of court cases and near the end seemed resigned to not going back to court to try to win permission to take their son to the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome. Thursday–even though the couple had just lost again in front of the Court of Appeal– an exhausted Mr. Evans took the high road in a letter he read aloud
Together we recognise the strains recent events have put upon us all, and we now wish for privacy for everyone concerned.
In Alfie’s interests we will work with his treating team on provides our boy with the dignity and comfort he needs.
From this point onwards there will be no more statements issued, or interviews given.
Previously on Thursday, Mr. Evans told reporters what he wanted out of the meeting with Alder Hey officials: For it to be “a positive one” and “to have Alfie, on the terms of mine and Alder Hey, to be home within a day or two.”
But that was not enough to persuade Alder Hey to allow them to take Alfie home. In a perverse way, it was a fitting response from a hospital that consigned treatment to the category of “futile” and persuaded the trial judge that maintaining Alfie on his ventilator would cost Alfie his “dignity.”
The family had received support from Pope Francis; the Italian ambassador who granted Alfie citizenship of Italy so that he could be taken to Rome for treatment; European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, who said he believed it “would be right to give another chance to Alfie”; and Polish president Andrzej Duda who tweeted: “Alfie Evans must be saved! His brave little body has proved again that the miracle of life can be stronger than death. Perhaps all that’s needed is some good will on the part of decision makers. Alfie, we pray for you and your recovery!,” to name just four.
NRL News Today will have more extensive coverage on Monday. Our prayers go out to Tom and Kate, their families, all of Alfie’s Army, and to all those good-hearted people who cared so much about what to one little child of God.