Toddler Alfie Evans has died after his parents lost their legal fight to continue his life support.
Tom Evans and Kate James launched a series of legal challenges to continue treatment for their 23-month-old son, who had a degenerative neurological condition.
Mr Evans posted on Facebook: “My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30 absolutely heartbroken. I LOVE YOU MY GUY”
Kate Evans said on the social network: “Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 am. We are heart broken. Thankyou everyone for all your support.”
The couple, from Liverpool, wanted to move their son from the city’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to Italy where they say doctors were willing to treat the little boy.
:: Timeline: The fight to keep Alfie Evans alive
Alfie’s life support machine was switched off on Monday night.
On Tuesday morning, Mr Evans said doctors were “gobsmacked” that his son was breathing nine hours after his life support ended.
Speaking outside Alder Hey before his son’s death, Mr Evans had said: “It’s come to a point when his mum’s actually asleep next to him so she can go to sleep, she feels comfortable with him.”
:: Analysis: Who should decide how a terminally ill child dies?
Alfie had been granted Italian citizenship in a bid to secure his transfer to Rome and last week Mr Evans met Pope Francis, who expressed support for the family.
The toddler was in a semi-vegetative state from a degenerative neurological condition that medics were not able to definitively identify.
On Friday, his parents said they would work with doctors to ensure their son had the “dignity and comfort he needs”.
In February, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors at Alder Hey could stop treating Alfie against the wishes of his parents.
The judge said he accepted medical evidence which showed that further treatment was futile.
Court of Appeal judges upheld his decision, while Supreme Court justices and European Court of Human Rights judges refused to intervene.
Mr Justice Hayden described Alfie as “courageous” and a “warrior” but ruled out the family’s wishes to take him to the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome.
The judge said the family could instead “explore” the options of removing him from intensive care either to a ward, a hospice or his home.
:: Alfie Evans’ family pledge to ‘build bridge’ with doctors
A steady stream of wellwishers visited the hospital on Saturday morning to lay flowers in memory of the youngster.
A statement released by Alder Hey said: “We wish to express our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Alfie’s family at this extremely distressing time.
“All of us feel deeply for Alfie, Kate, Tom and his whole family and our thoughts are with them.
“This has been a devastating journey for them and we would ask that their privacy and the privacy of staff at Alder Hey is respected.”
Hundreds of Alfie’s supporters gathered outside Alder Hey on Monday and police were forced to block dozens of people who were trying to storm the hospital building.
From – SkyNews