Indi Gregory: More than 100 attend funeral in Nottingham for 'beautiful warrior' eight-month-old
The father of Indi Gregory has paid tribute to his "beautiful warrior" during the funeral of the eight-month-old in Nottingham. Indi, who was born in February with a rare mitochondrial disease, was the focal point of a legal battle that concluded with the withdrawal of her life-support treatment, leading to her passing at a hospice on November 13.
The couple, supported by campaign group Christian Concern, also failed in a bid to transfer Indi to the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital in Rome for specialist treatment, with the Italian government later offering to pay for Indi’s funeral.
Before a service led by the Bishop of Nottingham, Reverend Patrick McKinney, at Nottingham Cathedral on Friday (December 1), Indi’s white coffin, adorned with pink and white flowers, was carried through the city’s streets in a horse-drawn carriage. A procession of eight Rolls-Royce cars transported Indi’s family behind the carriage.
Inside the cathedral, over 100 people, including a delegation from the Italian government, gathered for the 10.15am service. The ceremony featured a choir and organ music. During the service, a tribute was read by Canon Paul Newman on behalf of Mr Gregory, describing Indi as a "true warrior."
Mr Gregory, in an earlier statement, mentioned that Indi would have her favorite musical lamb toy in her coffin, expressing deep feelings in his heart about Indi's beauty, strength, and uniqueness. He acknowledged the unforeseen and challenging journey they had to endure in the fight for Indi's life.
He said: “I honestly and truly feel, deep in my heart, that Indi was not only beautiful, strong and unique. I just knew, from the start, she was very special. Nonetheless, I could never have imagined the sort of journey we and Indi would have to go through to fight for her life.
“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. Yet, it was her weakest point, her health problems, that distinguished Indi as a true warrior.
“Indi overcame so much: she had seizures, two operations, sepsis, e-coli, including other infections, that even another child would struggle to beat. But Indi’s determination to fight for a chance of life really inspired me.
“The strength she had for an eight-month-old child was incredible. And this is one of the reasons I would have done anything for Indi to have the chance to live which was denied her.”
The grieving parents have vowed to make sure their daughter is “remembered forever”. Mr Gregory’s tribute added: “I have now reached the conclusion that this was indeed Indi’s destiny … 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.”
During the service, a book featuring thousands of tributes from across Italy was presented to Indi’s parents. Paying tribute, Ms Roccella said the Italian government felt “deep sorrow” at Indi’s death. She said: “We have tried everything we could to bring her to Rome.”
High Court Judge Mr Justice Peel determined that restricting Indi's treatment would be legal and in her best interests. Despite their efforts, Indi's parents were unsuccessful in convincing judges at the Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, to overturn the treatment decision.
Additionally, Mr Justice Peel concluded that relocating Indi to Italy would not be in her best interests, a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal judges. The court was informed that Indi, born on February 24, suffered from mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition draining her energy. Specialists indicated that she was in a terminal state, with the ongoing treatment causing pain and being deemed futile.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, after Indi’s death: “We did everything we could, everything possible. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Have a safe trip little Indi.”