By Dave Andrusko
It is a tribute not only to “Alfie’s Army” but also to all those who came to Liverpool today that the privacy of Tom Evans and Kate James was respected as they conducted a private funeral service for their son. Alfie died April 28, five days after Alder Hey Children’s Hospital won the final battle to take the nearly two year old toddler off his ventilator.
Publications such as the Liverpool Echo and the Daily Mail published one beautiful photograph after another of the hundreds who gathered today to honor “The boy who brought the world together.”
The family made it known that Alfie’s funeral would be private but arrangement with cooperative local police allowed well-wishers to line the route of his funeral cortege.
The hearse carrying Alfie bore the phrase ‘our hero’ on one side and ‘warrior’ on the other, written in flowers.
“The crowd applauded and some threw flowers as the procession made its way slowly up the road.”
The Echo interviewed numerous people who came to say good bye. Reporters couldn’t miss that “Lots of the mourners lining the route this morning are parents who have brought young children with them, many of whom can’t be much older than Alfie was when he lost his long battle against an undiagnosed degenerative brain condition.”
One reporter explained
Just spoken to one woman from Anfield who didn’t want to give her name but said she’s lost two children, one aged 23 months and one aged six.
And that, of course, was a common denominator. Not just that they had lost children to illness but the chilling prospect of medical decisions being made for their children by others, running roughshod over the parents’ wishes.
Kate and Tom wished to transfer Alfie to a Vatican-affiliated hospital in Rome which had not given up hope for Alfie. But the trial judge, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court repeatedly said no—that dying was really in Alfie’s “best interests.”
There were so many touching moments:
People applauded as the boy’s funeral cortege passed the Everton Football [soccer] Club stadium Monday after a private family funeral. Inside a hearse, Alfie’s coffin was decorated with images of toy soldiers and the Everton logo.
Tom Evans was a huge fan of the soccer team and “dreamed of one day being able to take his son to Goodison park” where the team plays its games.
To their great credit, the club “official Twitter account paid tribute to Alfie,” the Echo reported
They placed a blue heart at the tweet’s end, echoing X-Factor star Talia Dean’s request earlier today for people to remember the toddler with blue and purple hearts.
All of this and so much more reflected how Alfie had changed their lives for the better.