Toddler dies after divisive legal challenge

Police stand guard outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Pope Francis tweeted Saturday he was "deeply moved" by Alfie's death.

Moreover, High Court Justice Anthony Hayden struck down the plan to take Alfie to Rome for medical treatment and stated that Alfie's life support be ended on Monday morning.

The terminally ill 23-month-old British toddler at the center of a legal battle died on Saturday.

Alfie suffered from a neurodegenerative disease that ravaged his brain and left him hospitalized in a neonatal intensive care unit in Liverpool since December 2016.

Alfie's parents, who have campaigned tirelessly over their right to fly the little boy to Italy for treatment, shared the devastating news on Facebook in the early hours.

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"All of us feel deeply for Alfie, Kate, Tom and his whole family and our thoughts are with them", the statement said.

The toddler had a rare degenerative brain condition that doctors said left him with nearly no brain function and multiple courts in the United Kingdom legal system ruled that letting him live was not in his best interests.

It was a strikingly different tone from the one he struck earlier, when he said doctors were wrong about Alfie's prognosis and threatened to resume his fight in court.

The father of gravely ill Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old boy whose plight has drawn global attention, said on Thursday he wanted to build bridges with staff at the British hospital he has been battling in the courts over his son's treatment.

Alder Hey made the decision to stop treating him, saying that continued active treatment is futile and not in Alfie's best interests.

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Thomas Evans, the father of 23-month-old Alfie, announced his son had died in a Facebook post at about 6 a.m. On Wednesday, his parents lost their final court battle.

Hundreds of heartbroken supporters gathered to pay tribute to Alfie Evans, the "warrior" toddler who passed away today. Thankyou everyone for all your support. British protesters clashed with police as they tried to force their way into the hospital, and local police issued a warning after staff were allegedly harassed, saying social media posts were being monitored.

On Friday, his parents said they would work with doctors to ensure their son had the dignity and comfort he needs.

"We also wish to thank Alder Hey staff at every level for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly hard time for them, too". But as a Christian Alfie has the promises of God, who is love, to welcome him into his heavenly home.

"Now it is time for us to give Tom and Kate space to grieve their son's death and offer our prayers for him and consolation for all", he said, the BBC reported.

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