After months of a seemingly never-ending legal battle over the life and care of 10-month-old Charlie Gard, the baby from London, U.K., may have just gotten yet another intervention from none other than U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis of Italy.
After the European Court of Human Rights officially rejected the motion for the terminally-ill baby to be moved to the U.S. for experimental treatment, doctors have been in talks with Charlie’s parents—Chris Gard and Connie Yates—about when the child will be taken off life support.
Following the ECHR’s decision last week, Chris and Connie requested that they be able to take their son home to die comfortably in his crib—the one he’s never slept in. They were denied that right and told their son would die in Great Ormand Street Hospital on June 30, 2017.
“We know the day our son’s gonna die, and we don’t even get a say in what happens to him,” said Chris in an emotional home video that the couple released on June 29.
The heartfelt plea garnered worldwide attention with international headlines reporting on the 10-month-old being “sentenced to death” against his parents’ will. Connie and Chris were then granted “a little more time” to say goodbye to their son.
Then, on Monday morning—just days before Charlie’s short little life is set to officially end—U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter like he does, to offer his support and solidarity to Charlie’s parents saying:
“If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.”
As referenced in Trump’s Tweet, Pope Francis previously made remarks at a Vatican press conference Sunday, saying he is following the case with “affection and sadness,” and praying the parents’ wishes are “not neglected.” He called for Chris and Connie to be allowed to “accompany and treat their child until the end.”
Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life echoed the pope in a statement saying: “Dear Charlie, dear parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates, we are praying for you and with you.”
There’s no word yet on whether or not the leaders’ remarks will provide yet another “eleventh-hour” saving grace for Charlie Gard, but our continued prayers are with the family and this precious baby boy.
In recent weeks, Faithit has been updating reports of the continued battle for life between the child’s parents and pretty much every court in the European Union.
As previously reported by Faithit, Charlie 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 completely nonexistent.
However, there is a group of doctors with an experimental drug in the United States. Chris and Connie have raised over $1.6 million to bring their son to the U.S. in hopes that the therapy trial may give him a shot at life.
Charlie’s Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital felt otherwise—that the child should be able to “die with dignity.” The medical professionals took Chris and Connie to court over the matter in which judges ruled in favor of the doctors—stripping the parents of their rights over Charlie’s medical treatments.
After Chris and Connie sought consideration from judges in the High Court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court in London—all of which ruled in favor of the doctors’ motion to remove Charlie from life support—they pressed for one final deliberation from the European court judges in Strasbourg, France, to consider their case.
The ECHR considered the appeal for nearly 10 days before making the decision to rule in favor of the doctors.
Charlie’s life-support shut-off date has not been confirmed, but after being denied the right to take him home to die, Chris and Connie are doing all they can to savor the extended time they’ve been given with their son.