After months of emotional legal battles with London’s High Court, the Court of Appeals, Supreme Court in London and the European Court of Human Rights, the fight for terminally-ill British baby Charlie Gard has come to an end.
The 11-month-old boy has reportedly died after being moved from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to hospice earlier this week.
In a heartbreaking statement, Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, said:
“Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.”
Charlie’s journey has captured the heart and support of many nations.
The 11-month-old was born healthy in August of 2016, but was diagnosed with an extremely rare DNA disorder at just two months old. Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome is a terminal condition believed to have only been found in 16 people ever. It causes rapid weakening of the muscles and brain damage—making treatments almost nonexistent.
In the early stages of his diagnosis, Chris and Connie raised nearly $2 million to bring their son to the United States for experimental treatment. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London felt that the parents’ efforts were not in the child’s best interest, and that Charlie should be able to “die with dignity.”
And so began an eight-month long legal battle to save Charlie’s life.
After two international medical experts flew in and evaluated Charlie’s condition, the boy’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, announced on Monday that “it’s too late” for their son.
“A whole lot of time has been wasted,” Chris Gard said in a tearful statement to the press. “We are now in July and our poor boy has been left to just lie in a hospital for months without any treatment.”
On Tuesday the parents returned to court to request that they be granted permission to take their son home to die.
“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,” Connie said in a statement.
Their final request was denied, and Charlie was moved to hospice Thursday afternoon.
“I’m shocked that after all we’ve been through, they won’t allow us this extra time.”
Connie and Chris have previously said that if Charlie is not given the chance to live, they will donate all of the money raised to research for the depletion syndrome.
Our continued prayers are with Charlie’s grieving family.