‘Our beau­ti­ful lit­tle boy has gone, proud of you Char­lie’

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Lon­don, UK - Char­lie Gard, the ter­mi­nally-ill Bri­tish baby whose plight drew sym­pa­thy from Pope Fran­cis and US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and sparked a de­bate about med­i­cal ethics, died on Fri­day, his mother said.

His par­ents, Con­nie Yates and Chris Gard, had fought a lengthy le­gal bat­tle to al­low him to be taken to the United States for treat­ment for a rare ge­netic con­di­tion. But de­spite the in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion brought by his case, he died ex­actly one week short of his first birth­day.

“Our beau­ti­ful lit­tle boy has gone. We are so proud of you, Char­lie,” his mother Yates said in a state­ment.

A court had or­dered that the 11 month old should be moved from hos­pi­tal to a hos­pice, where his life sup­port was with­drawn.

Sup­port­ers around the world do­nated £1.35mn via an on­line fundrais­ing site to sup­port his par­ents and their ef­forts to keep their son alive, while 350,000 signed a pe­ti­tion de­mand­ing that he be al­lowed to re­ceive ex­per­i­men­tal treat­ment in the US.

Fol­low­ing news of the boy’s death, Pope Fran­cis, who sup­ported the cam­paign, tweeted: ‘I en­trust lit­tle Char­lie to the Fa­ther and pray for his par­ents and all those who loved him.’

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May said she was ‘deeply sad- dened’ by the death while US Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence wrote he was: ‘Sad­dened to hear of the pass­ing of Char­lie Gard’.

Gard was born on Au­gust 4 last year with a rare form of mi­to­chon­drial dis­ease that causes pro­gres­sive mus­cle weak­ness, in­clud­ing in key or­gans such as the heart.

He was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal at eight weeks old and his con­di­tion pro­gres­sively de­te­ri­o­rated.

Gard’s par­ents fought a five­month le­gal bat­tle for him to be taken to the US for ex­per­i­men­tal treat­ment. They lost a se­ries of ap­peals in Bri­tish courts and the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights in Stras­bourg.

Their cam­paign led to of­fers of help from the US and the Vat­i­can, lead­ing the hos­pi­tal to ask the courts for a fi­nal as­sess­ment of any new ev­i­dence.

But the boy’s par­ents gave up their bat­tle last week, say­ing ‘time has run out’, af­ter they were shown scans in­di­cat­ing that his con­di­tion had de­te­ri­o­rated too far. ‘We are so sorry that we could not save you,’ they said in an emo­tional state­ment at the High Court in Lon­don.

The par­ents then asked for Gard to be taken to their home for his fi­nal days but were over­ruled by the hos­pi­tal which said the ven­ti­la­tor keep­ing him alive was too bulky to fit through their front door. They fi­nally agreed for him to be placed in a hos­pice.

Pho­to­graphs of the baby dom­i­nated the front-pages of Bri­tain’s Satur­day news­pa­pers, which paid trib­ute to a ‘beau­ti­ful lit­tle boy’.


This file photo shows a poster set up out­side the Royal Courts of Jus­tice in Lon­don on Mon­day

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