The critically ill infant at the centre of a legal battle over whether he would be allowed to seek experimental legal care in the United State or forced to die in a British hospital has passed away, his parents revealed Friday evening.Baby Charlie Gard’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard said Friday evening: “Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.”
The infant died one week short of his first birthday after his life support was withdrawn. His parents had fought a five-month legal battle to keep him alive, after the British nationalised health service decided his life couldn’t be prolonged and that his life support should be turned off.
Connie Yates and Chris Gard raised some £1.3 million to cover the costs of flying their son to the United States to receive experimental treatment from a specialist, but were denied permission to remove Charlie from hospital. Over the course of months, the couple sought permission to have their own son treated at the British supreme court and at a European court, but were denied every time.
Even when Charlie’s parents declared the end of their legal battle and resigned themselves to Charlie’s death, their request that he be allowed to die at home was denied and it was ruled his final days should be lived out in a hospice.
World figures including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and the Pope expressed interest in the case, with the United States and the Vatican both offering help. The British court’s decision meant neither offers could be taken up.
After the end of their legal battle, Baby Charlie’s parents basted the courts for “time wasted”, arguing that had the infant been able to seek treatment in the United States earlier his condition wouldn’t have deteriorated to a point of no return. Speaking outside the court this week, Charlie'[s father said said: “Put simply, this is about a sweet, gorgeous, innocent little boy, born with a rare disease, who had a real, genuine chance of life and a family who love him so very dearly – and that’s why we fought so hard for him.
“We are truly devastated, to say the least, that following the most recent MRI scan of Charlie’s muscles, as requested in a recent MDT meeting with Dr Hirano, as Charlie’s devoted and loving parents we have decided that it is no longer in Charlie’s best interests to pursue treatment and we will let our son go and be with the angels.
“The American and Italian teams were still willing to treat Charlie,” he said, “but there is one simple reason why treatment cannot now go ahead – and that is time. A whole lot of time has been wasted.”