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World News

Baby Indi’s father makes moving tribute at her funeral

by Premier Journalist

The father of eight-month-old Indi Gregory gave a moving eulogy at his daughter's funeral on Thursday.

The tiny coffin, arrived at Nottingham's Catholic Cathedral in a white horse-drawn carriage, followed by several cars carrying family and friends. At the service, Dean Gregory called his daughter his “Beautiful Warrior". 

Addressing those present he said: “Indi was not only beautiful, strong and unique... she was very special... She had to battle against a system that makes it almost impossible to win.

"Yet, it was her weakest point, her health problems, that distinguished Indi as a true warrior."

Indi was born with mitochondrial disease, and a rare abnormality which meant her heart failed to develop normally while she was in her mother's womb. During her life, she recovered from seizures, sepsis, ecoli, as well as other infections. She also underwent two operations. 

While her mother, Claire, remained by their daughter's bedside in a Nottingham hospital, her father Dean travelled to the High Court in London, to fight her NHS medical team who felt it was in the little girl's best interests for her life support to be removed.

Mr Gregory told those gathered for Thursday's ceremony: "I would have done anything for Indi to have the chance to live which was denied her.

“I was even willing to go down into the pits of hell to fight and to protect Indi. In a way I did, because the court system itself felt like being in hell to me."

The family's case attracted further headlines when they were offered a potentially life-saving surgery for Indi at a Catholic hospital in Rome, paid for by the Italian government. 

Permission to remove her from the Nottingham hospital was not granted, with medical experts in the UK claiming that end-of-life care was preferable in order to reduce Indi's suffering. After numerous court hearings, including an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, Indi was moved to nearby hospice care, where she died shortly after midnight on Monday 13th November.

Thursday's service was also attended by a delegation from the Italian government, including Minister of Families, Eugenia Roccella and Minister of Disabilities, Alessandra Locatelli, and Indi's father paid tribute to them in his speech:

“I’m sure Indi is as proud as I am for the amazing support and love shown by the Italian government, the Italian prime minister and the Italian people. I strongly believe they were Indi’s guardian angels during the legal battle to save her."

Former Italian senator and lawyer, Simone Pillon, also attended and Jacopo Coghe, Vice President of Pro Vita and Famiglia Onlus, who helped generate a petition of 50,000 signatures in Italy calling on the UK government to allow Indi to be transferred to the the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital for the treatment.

Mr Gregory said that despite their ordeal, he believes it was part of his daughter's destiny: "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."

Her parents chose to have Indi baptised while she was in hospital, and said they were trusting her into God's care.

Gregory said today: "It gives me peace to know she is in Heaven and God is taking care of her."

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