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Parents of Charlie Gard End Legal Battle
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Charlie Gard’s parents. Photo courtesy of ABC.

Summary: Charlie Gard’s parents said a doctor told them that he could no longer perform the experimental therapy on their terminally-ill son.

A lawyer for the parents of a terminally ill baby told them that his “time had run out.” Heartbroken, the British couple made the decision to end their legal battle to take him to the United States for an experimental treatment.


Charlie Gard was born last August at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the United Kingdom with a genetic disease called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. The disease leads to weakened muscles and brain damage, and Charlie is unable to breathe and move on his own.

In October of 2016, the hospital made the decision to remove Charlie from life support, but his parents wanted him to receive an experimental treatment called nucleoside bypass therapy that is only offered in the United States. Subsequently, Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, began an exhaustive legal battle to save their terminally ill child, and the fight garnered international attention, including the support from the Pope and President Donald Trump.

However, the fight took too long, and the parents decided to let Charlie go, according to the BBC. 

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“To let our beautiful little Charlie go” is “the hardest thing we’ll ever have to do,” Yates said. “We only wanted to give him a better life. A whole lot of time has been wasted.”

Charlie’s father said that his “innocent little boy” will not reach his first birthday on August 4th. The parents said a U.S. doctor informed them that it was now too late to give Charlie the experimental treatment.

Chris Gard told Judge Nicholas Francis that U.S. neurologist Dr. Michio Hirano said he was no longer willing to treat Charlie after he saw the results of a new MRI scan.

The judge in the case as well as the hospital experienced intense public backlash, but both parties said that the issue was complicated and that they were sad for Charlie and his parents.

“Our staff share the parents’ sadness over Charlie whom they have cared for with dedication during the months he has spent at Great Ormond Street Hospital,” the hospital said in a statement.

Judge Francis that Charlie’s parents were brave and that some of the criticism he had received was from people who did not have all of the facts in the case.

“When cases such as this go viral, the watching world feels entitled to weigh in regardless of whether or not they are informed on the facts of the case,” Judge Francis.

Charlie’s parents said that they plan to establish a foundation in Charlie’s honor to ensure that his voice “continues to be heard.” During their high-profile legal battle, the parents had raised £1.3m in donations to take their son abroad for care.

“Charlie has had a greater impact on and touched more people in this world in his 11 months than many people do in a lifetime,” Yates said. “We will do our utmost to ensure that no parents have to go through what we have been through and the next Charlie that comes along will get this medicine before it’s too late and Charlie will save many more lives in the future, no doubt about that.”

What do you think of Charlie Gard’s case? Let us know in the comments below.


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