Pope Francis said on Twitter: “I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.”
Alfie, who was born on May 9, 2016, was admitted to the hospital when he was 7 months old, after suffering seizures.
On Monday, the hospital withdrew life support, against his parent’s wishes. But the boy continued to breathe on his own.
“For the third day now, there’s been not one single problem with him,” his father said outside the hospital on Thursday. “It’s not a miracle; it’s a misdiagnosis.”
His parents lost in the High Court, the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights. On Wednesday, the British Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that approved the withdrawal of care and sustenance. It also prohibited his parents from seeking treatment elsewhere.
The parents’ lawyers, from the Christian Legal Center, had vowed to continue their appeals.
The rulings echoed another high-profile case, that of Charlie Gard, the British infant who had a rare genetic abnormality known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. The boy could not see, hear, swallow or cry.
His plight drew attention from Francis and President Trump.
Charlie’s parents fought a long and public battle to prolong his life, but bowed to the consensus of medical experts who said there was no realistic chance of saving him: The child had irreversible brain damage.
The British High Court ruled that he could be moved to a hospice and that his life support could be withdrawn. Charlie died in July 2017 with his parents by his side a day after.
The news of Alfie’s death drew an outpouring on social media.
“Awful news,” Tara Vernal wrote on Facebook. “Can’t help feel angry for you.”
Another, Mary Fiander, wrote, “God bless you, beautiful Alfie. Fly high and free darling. Tom and Kate, my heart goes out to you both. Your little soldier was loved and adored by you. Nobody could have fought a tougher battle for Alfie. You are amazing.”
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