The parents of UK toddler Alfie Evans released their first statement since their baby died early Saturday under the care of socialized medicine.
The parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, lost all legal challenges to a court ruling that allowed the hospital caring for Alfie to withdraw life support and let the child die.
“My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings… absolutely heartbroken,” Alfie’s father, Tom Evans, wrote on Facebook. “I LOVE YOU MY GUY.”
Alfie’s aunt, Sarah Evans, told supporters, “Our hearts are broken. We are absolutely shattered as a family.”
Alfie was diagnosed with a degenerative brain condition and UK doctors determined continued treatment was not in the “best interests” of the child. The parents wanted to take their son to Italy for alternative treatment and try to save his life.
In the end, the government sided with doctors at the hospital and the parents were unable to even take their son home.
The case garnered global attention, even from the Pope, who reacted to Alfie’s death on Saturday.
“I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie,” Pope Francis tweeted. “Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace.”
I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 28, 2018
Supporters released hundreds of balloons outside Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Alfie’s memory on Saturday.
— CapitalLivNews (@CapitalLivNews) April 28, 2018
Alfie Evans also passed away on the feast day of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, “patron of pediatricians, pregnant women, and babies. I don’t think that’s an accident,” writer F. Bill McMorris pointed out.
Rest in peace, Alfie.
Featured image via Kate James/Facebook