'Beautiful boy' Charlie Gard has died, parents confirm
Charlie Gard, the terminally ill baby whose illness sparked a legal battle over his care, has died aged just 11 months, his family confirmed.
A statement from his parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates, who fought for five months to prevent doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital from withdrawing life-support treatment, said their son had died earlier today.
The statement on their behalf read: “Our beautiful little boy has gone. We are so proud of you Charlie.”
Yesterday, Ms Yates claimed the couple were “denied” their “final wish” when a High Court judge approved a plan to see Charlie moved to a hospice and have his life support withdrawn soon after.
His parents had pleaded to be allowed more time with him, after their earlier request to take him home to die also failed.
Announcing the end of their five-month legal challenge on Monday, Mr Gard gave an emotional speech on the steps of the High Court when he said: “We are so sorry that we couldn’t save you.”
Charlie, who was born on August 4 last year, has a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.
Described as “perfectly healthy” when he was born, Charlie was admitted to hospital at eight weeks and his condition has progressively deteriorated.
The couple said they wanted to take their son across the Atlantic for nucleoside bypass therapy, but specialists at GOSH in London, where Charlie was being cared for, said the treatment was experimental and would not help.
Pope Francis and US president Donald Trump weighed in to the debate, with the Vatican press office saying the pontiff prayed for “their wish to accompany and treat their child until the end is not neglected”.
The protracted legal battle saw the couple take their case to the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court - all of which ruled life support treatment should end and Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.