More than 100 people and a delegation from the Italian government attended a funeral last week for Indi Gregory, an 8-month-old girl who died after a U.K. court ordered her off life support.
Mourners gathered at St. Barnabus Catholic Cathedral in Nottingham, England, on Friday to pay their respects to Indi, who died on Nov. 13 after suffering from an incurable mitochondrial disease and related physical ailments, according to the BBC.
Indi's small white casket, which was decorated with flowers, was carried through the streets of Nottingham by a horse-drawn carriage, followed by eight Rolls-Royce cars with family members. Italian officials who attended included Minister of Families Eugenia Roccella and Minister of Disabilities Alessandra Locatelli.
Indi's death in hospice occurred after Lord Justice Peter Jackson, Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lord Justice Andrew Moylan shot down an appeal from Indi's parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, who sought in vain for permission to remove her from life support at home.
Indi's situation led to intervention from Italian political leaders, who gave her emergency citizenship on Nov. 6 and offered to give her specialist treatment at the Vatican-run Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome at no cost to U.K. taxpayers.
Dr. Matteo Corradini, who serves as the Italian consul in Manchester, used Indi's Italian citizenship to request jurisdiction over her case under Article 9 of the 1996 Hague Convention, though a U.K. Court of Appeal dismissed his move as "wholly misconceived" and "not in the spirit of the convention."
During Indi's funeral service, Canon Paul Newman read a eulogy on behalf of Indi's father, Dean Gregory, who described his baby girl as a "true warrior."
"She didn't only have to battle against her health problems, she had to battle against a system that makes it almost impossible to win," Gregory's eulogy said. "Yet, it was her weakest point, her health problems, that distinguished Indi as a true warrior."
Gregory had earlier said that after Indi was first transferred to hospice and removed from life support, she stopped breathing but then recovered, noting that "she is fighting hard."
Gregory expressed sorrow at his daughter's many afflictions, but also said her fight to live inspired him and that God used her to expose wickedness.
“I have now reached the conclusion that this was indeed Indi’s destiny," he said. "God put Indi on this Earth with the mission to expose evil in the world. He chose her because she was strong, beautiful and special. But now this chapter of Indi’s destiny is over. Her legacy, however, has only just begun. I wanted to make sure Indi would be remembered forever and she will live on in our hearts and through our voices."
Gregory also said that his "greatest comfort at this difficult time" is believing that his daughter is in Heaven because he had her baptized.
"I had Indi baptized to protect her and so she would go to Heaven," he said. "It gives me peace to know she is in Heaven and God is taking care of her."
Before Indi died, Dean Gregory told New Daily Compass that the U.K.'s health system is "diabolical," and that despite the fact he is not a Christian, he was moved to baptize his daughter because he came to believe he encountered spiritual evil during his family's ordeal.
"I am not religious and I am not baptized. But when I was in court, it felt like I had been dragged to Hell," he said. "I thought, if Hell exists, then Heaven must exist. It was like the devil was there. I thought if there’s a devil, then God must exist."
"I have seen what Hell is like, and I want Indi to go to Heaven," Gregory continued. "In fact, I have decided that me and my daughter should get baptized too. We want to be protected in this life and go to Heaven."
Indi's case was reminiscent of British toddlers Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard, both of whom were similarly denied the chance to receive medical treatment at the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital by U.K. courts.
Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to email@example.com