Bradley Lowery's mum pays tribute to 'beautiful' Alfie Evans

Journalists outside Alder Hey. Credit PA

Journalists outside Alder Hey. Credit PA

The parents of a terminally ill British toddler say they are heartbroken while announcing that their son, Alfie Evans, has died.

People release balloons outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital following the death of 23-month old Alfie Evans, who was being treated at the hospital in Liverpool, England, Saturday April 28, 2018. "My Gladiator laid down his shield and got wings... my heart is absolutely broken", - he wrote.

The legal campaign, launched by Evans and Alfie's mother Kate James, attracted widespread attention and saw them clash with doctors over the child's treatment. But his parents fought for months to try to convince judges to allow them to take him to the Vatican's children's hospital, where life support would have been maintained.

Ms Lowery's touching tributes has added to the thousands that have flooded in for Alfie Evans, who passed away at 2.30am at Alder Hey's Children's Hospital in Liverpool. "This has been a devastating journey for them", it said.

Supporters began to leave floral tributes outside the hospital and a post on the "Alfie's Army" Facebook page, which has 801,000 members, said balloons would be released from a park near the facility later on Saturday.

Evans had fallen into a "semi-vegetative state" and has been in the hospital since December 2016.

Today, Pope Francis wrote that he is deeply saddened by the death of little Alfie.

A British toddler at the center of a controversial legal fight died Saturday, just days after he was removed from life support.

Earlier in April, Evans pleaded with him to "save our son" during a meeting in Rome.

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Alder Hey Hospital said scans showed "catastrophic degradation of his brain tissue" and that further treatment was not only "futile" but also "unkind and inhumane".

"The only master of life, from the beginning to its natural end, is God, and our duty is to do everything to protect life", he said.

Alfie was granted Italian citizenship on Monday, with the country's government saying it hoped the toddler could have an "immediate transfer to Italy".

British law states that parents "cannot demand a particular treatment to be continued where the burdens of the treatment clearly outweigh the benefits for the child".

Alfie's parents wanted to take him to Rome, where the Vatican's Bambino Gesu hospital had offered to care for him.

The case has stirred up the issue of whether judges, doctors or parents have the right to decide on a child's life.

He thanked the hospital staff "for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly hard time for them too".

The death came after an easing of tensions between the family and the hospital.

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