Parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard prepare for last goodbye

The parents of a terminally-ill British baby
whose plight has drawn sympathy from Pope
Francis and US President Donald Trump were
preparing on Friday for their child’s life support
to be withdrawn.
Baby Charlie Gard and parents
Charlie Gard’s mother Connie Yates lashed out
at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where the
baby has been treated, after a court overruled
her wish to spend more time with the 11-
month-old before he dies.
The hospital “denied us our final wish,” Yates
said in a statement after a judge on Thursday
agreed with doctors that Gard should be
moved to a hospice and life support should be
withdrawn shortly thereafter.
“We just want some peace with our son — no
hospital, no lawyers, no courts, no media —
just quality time with Charlie away from
everything to say goodbye to him in the most
loving way,” Yates said.
Gard was born with a rare form of
mitochondrial disease that causes progressive
muscle weakness, including in key organs such
as the heart.
Yates and Chris Gard, the boy’s father, fought
a five-month legal battle for him to be taken to
the United States for experimental treatment.
But they gave up last week saying “time has
run out” after they were shown scans that
indicated that his condition had deteriorated
too much.
They 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.
A hospital spokeswoman said doctors had
“tried absolutely everything” to accommodate
their wishes.
But she said that “the risk of an unplanned
and chaotic end to Charlie’s life is an
unthinkable outcome for all concerned and
would rob his parents of precious last
moments with him”.
Gard’s parents lost a series of appeals in
British courts and the European Court of
Human Rights in Strasbourg for him to be
taken to the US.
Their legal battle led to offers of help from the
United States and the Vatican, leading the
hospital to ask the courts for a final
assessment of any new evidence.

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