Health Team

British toddler Alfie Evans dies after life support is withdrawn

Posted April 28, 2018 2:03 a.m. EDT

— Terminally ill British toddler Alfie Evans died overnight, days after life support was withdrawn, according to a message posted by his parents on Facebook on Saturday.

"My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30. absolutely heartbroken. I LOVE YOU MY GUY," his father, Thomas Evans, wrote on the Save Alfie Evans Facebook page.

The 23-month-old boy, who had a degenerative brain condition, had been at the center of a high profile legal battle over whether life support should be continued.

Alfie, who was admitted to Alder Hey Hospital in December 2016, was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease associated with severe epilepsy and had been in a semivegetative state for more than a year. During that time, he was kept alive by artificial ventilation in the critical care unit.

Disagreement between the hospital and his parents, Thomas Evans and Kate James, resulted in a referral of Alfie's case to the Family Division of the UK High Court for a judge to rule on whether active treatment was in Alfie's best interests.

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.

On Wednesday, judges on the UK Court of Appeal once again ruled against Alfie's parents.

The ruling rejected new arguments intended to overturn a decision by the High Court on Tuesday that prevented the terminally ill toddler from leaving Britain for medical treatment, said Roger Kiska, a lawyer with Christian Legal Center and part of the legal team representing Alfie's parents.