Legal Battle to Save Charlie Gard Ends

by Anita Carey  •  •  July 24, 2017   

Parents: "We'll have to live with the what-ifs, which will haunt us for the rest of our lives"

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LONDON ( - The parents of gravely ill Charlie Gard announced they have ended their legal battle to save their baby's life. "Charlie's been left for his illness to deteriorate devastatingly to the point of no return," they said Monday.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates made the decision after Dr. Michio Hirano, a U.S. neurologist and expert in mitochondrial diseases, told them it was now too late for the nucleoside therapy to help. Hirano explained his change in position after he saw the results of the MRI scan last week.

In a statement read outside the court on Monday, Gard said, "As Charlie's devoted and loving parents, we've decided that it is no longer in Charlie's best interest to pursue treatment, and we will let our son go and be with the angels."

They explained that "a lot of time has been wasted," and "we are now in July, and our poor boy has been left to just lie in the hospital for months without any treatment, whilst lengthy court battles have been fought."
"Tragically, having had Charlie's medical notes reviewed by independent experts, we now know had Charlie been given the treatment sooner, he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy."
We now know had Charlie been given the treatment sooner, he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy.

They explained that was the reason they kept fighting, saying "as his parents, we knew our son," and "this has also never been about 'parents know best.'"

Supporters of the family have reacted with grief and anger. Earlier, staffers at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) received thousands of abusive messages, harassment and even death threats. Yates and Gard spoke out against these messages, saying "we have been shocked by some of the public response to this case and agree with them that it is disgraceful that doctors have received death threats."

Charlie's supporters

Yates goes on to say, "Despite conflicting issues, we have always had the utmost respect for all the staff who work tirelessly at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the very difficult jobs they do every day." She added that they have also received "hurtful comments."

"Chris and I are just ordinary parents with a very sick baby, and we simply have his best interests at heart," Yates explained.

Supporters outside the hospital reacted by chanting "shame on you, judge" and "shame on GOSH."

"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 and Gard claim. They go on to say he was an "absolute warrior," and "we could not have more love and pride for our beautiful boy."

They are asking that their "privacy is respected during this very difficult time."

"We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won't make his first birthday in just under two weeks' time," his parents said.


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