Alfie Evans, a terminally ill British toddler whose case drew attention from Pope Francis and others around the world, has died, his parents announced Saturday morning.
Parents Kate James, 20, and Tom Evans, 21, wrote on Facebook that they were “absolutely heartbroken” that they had lost their son.
Alfie was born in May 2016. Later that year he suffered a series of seizures and was admitted to a hospital in Liverpool where he has been since, BBC reported.
Alfie developed an incurable degenerative brain condition and was at the center of a legal battle over his treatment.
Medics struggled to precisely identify Alfie’s condition.
Doctors said further treatment was futile and recommended that Alfie be allowed to die, but his parents — backed by the pope and Christian groups — fought for months to take him to a hospital in Italy so he could be kept on life support.
The hospital withdrew Alfie’s life support Monday after a series of court rulings sided with doctors who said continuing Alfie’s treatment was “not in Alfie’s best interests.”
Justice Anthony Hayden, a U.K. judge, said the ruling “represents the final chapter in the life of this extraordinary boy.”
Under British law, courts often intervene when parents and doctors disagree over the treatment of a child, who’s rights often take precedent over the parent’s right to decide what’s best.
News of Alfie’s death has brought an outpouring of messages from people sending their condolences.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.