The parents of little Charlie Gard are fighting to be able to be by his side for his last hours of life.
For Chris Gard and Connie Yates, as well as countless supporters around the world, it has been a long and agonizing struggle fighting for Charlie’s life. Charlie, who is now nearly a year old, developed a rare mitochondrial disease which resulted in brain damage and seizures.
The hospital where he has been on life support, Great Ormond Street Hospital, argued that Charlie’s life support should be withdrawn because there was no hope of improvement for his condition.
Gard and Yates believed that there was a chance for improvement, however, and fought a legal battle to be able to take Charlie to the U.S. for experimental treatment. They may have been granted the permission to do so, but a recent brain scan by Dr. Michio Hirano revealed that Charlie’s condition is irreversible and there is no hope for improvement.
Earlier this week, Charlie’s parents reluctantly agreed to withdraw his life support. However, they maintain that if the hospital had allowed Charlie to receive treatment earlier, he may have recovered.
Now, the couple is fighting their last battle: simply to be granted permission to take Charlie from the hospital and be with him at a hospice facility for his last hours.
The Christian Post reports that since Charlie cannot see, hear, breathe, or swallow on his own, the court ruled that this was not feasible, unless Gard and Yates could find a medical expert able and willing to care for Charlie outside the hospital.
Judge Nicholas Francis gave Charlie’s parents until noon on Thursday to make these arrangements; otherwise, Charlie’s life support will be removed at Great Ormond Street Hospital where he has spent much of his young life or a hospital-appointed hospice facility.
The court proceedings reached a high emotional level after this ruling was handed down. At one point, Connie Yates said to Charlie’s court-appointed guardian: "What if it was your child? I hope you are happy with yourself."
Photo courtesy: GoFundMe/Charlie Gard
Publication date: July 27, 2017