- 13:42, 10 MAY 2019
Alfie Evan's best friend has died almost exactly one year after his beloved pal.
Jacob Ryan, who was one half of 'The Two Liverpool Boys', passed away on April 1 following a lifelong battle with a serious heart condition.
He was just under two – the same age as Alfie – when he died.
The sad news comes one year after Alfie's parents, Thomas Evans and Kate James, lost a hard-fought legal appeal to keep their son alive on April 28 2018.
The 23-month-old continued to breathe naturally for five days after the removal of his breathing tube until his death on April 28 2018.
Alfie and Jacob were great friends during their short lives and their parents are believed to have remained close.
The two boys met at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, where Jacob's mum Steph found common ground with Alfie's "determined" parents.
Inspired by the fight shown by the two boys, dozens of people turned out back in October 2017 to a family fun day to pay for their care.
And when Alfie died of a neurodegenerative disorder last year, Jacob was left to fight on.
On April 1, a post on the 'Jacob's Journey' Twitter page read: "At 22.26 our beautiful inspirational courageous superhero learned to fly.
"He passed peacefully in his mummy's arms surrounded by his loved ones. Our hearts are shattered and every piece of them went with him."
Alfie's dad Thomas shared the news of Jacobs death on Facebook, writing: "We are shocked and Devastated for Steph and her family our thought are with you all.
"Play peacefully and have heavenly fun with our Alf. Rest in paradise little man.
"Please can we all say a prayer for Jacob and steph and her family this is the most painful period in life no one should go through."
Now mum Steph is working hard to make sure Jacob is remembered and has been raising funds for a memorial tree at Zoe's Place Hospice in Coventry.
When the mum-of-four was told of Jacob's heart defect following a 20 week scan she opted against having a termination.
She told the Liverpool Echo: "I said no straight away.
"He deserved to be given a chance and I wanted him to know love and strength.
"He kicked so hard inside of me that there was just no way I was giving up on him.
"His strength gave me strength and we have fought together."
Back in February last year, Steph paid tribute to Alfie's mum and dad as their battle to keep medical support going for their baby intensified.
"Alfie's family and friends have pulled me through some hard times in the past nine months and for that I am forever thankful," she wrote.
"(It is) one of the reasons I stand faithfully and forever by their sides through their fight to save Alfie."
Jacob leaves behind big brothers Freddie and Jack and sister Alexis.
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