Charlie Gard’s parents are ending their fight for the life of their sick child.
The sick infant’s plight became headline news around the world, as the U.K. hospital that was treating him refused to release the baby to his parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, who sought better care for their son. A lengthy court battle ensued, which the Gards ultimately lost, resulting in the Charlie being sentenced to death.
The Orwellian decision by the European court and the British system of socialized medicine reached millions. Charlie’s plight caught the attention of the Pope and President Trump. Hope was beginning to show for Charlie, as free medical care was offered stateside, and American doctors traveled to the U.K. to begin to assess the infant.
However, the tests results on Charlie showed very poor chances of recovery.
Charlie had spent the majority of his first year of life in legal battles and hospital bed limbo, his parents battling the systems of government-run health care to seek help for him to receive better care. After the long battle, there was nothing left to do for Charlie.
According to previous Independent Journal Review reporting:
Chris Gard and Connie Yates reportedly made the tough decision after reviewing the latest medical scans and tests.
“This case is now about time. Sadly time has run out,” the attorney, Grant Armstrong, said. Armstrong revealed that there is now irreversible damage to Charlie’s muscle and tissue, meaning it is tragically “too late to treat Charlie.”
“The parents’ worst fears have been confirmed,” he added.
To further clarify their decision to the millions who have followed Charlie’s case, his father, Chris Gard, read a heartbreaking and emotional explanation outside the London hospital Monday morning. In the statement, Gard says the parents will “let [their] son go and be with the angels” while reserving harsh judgment for the system that has forced this decision.
“There is one simple reason why treatment cannot now go ahead and that is time. A whole lot of time has been wasted. Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner, he would have had the potential to be a normal healthy little boy,” Gard says, referring to the hospital and court systems that have loomed over their son and restricted their parental decisions.
The judgment seems well-placed, as the parents have fought bureaucracy after bureaucracy for the right to their son’s life.
You can read Chris Gard’s full statement below:
“Firstly, I would like to thank our legal team who have worked tirelessly on our behalf for free. And to the nurses and staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital who have cared for Charlie and kept him comfortable and stable for so long.
“We would also like to thank everybody who supported us, including all the people here for us today.
“This is one of the hardest things that we will ever have to say and we are about to do the hardest thing that we’ll ever have to do, which is to let our beautiful little Charlie go.
“Put simply, this is about a sweet, gorgeous innocent little boy who was born with a rare disease who had a real genuine chance at life and a family who loved him so very dearly. And that’s why we fought so hard for him.
“We are truly devastated to say that following the most recent MRI scan of Charlie’s muscles as requested in a recent MDT meeting by Dr. Hirano.
“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.
“The American and Italian team were still willing to treat Charlie after seeing his recent MRI and EEG perform last week, but there is one simple reason why treatment cannot now go ahead and that is time. A whole lot of time has been wasted.
“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.
“Despite his condition in January, Charlie’s muscles were in pretty good shape and far from showing irreversible catastrophic structural brain damage.
“Dr. Hirano and other experts say his brain scans and EEGs were those of a relatively normal child of his age.
“We knew that ourselves because as his parents, we knew our son, which is why we continued fighting.
“Charlie’s been left for his illness to deteriorate devastatingly to the point of no return.
“This has also never been about ‘parents know best.’
“All we wanted to do was take Charlie from one world-renowned hospital to another world-renowned hospital in the attempt to save his life and to be treated by the world leader in mitochondrial disease.
“We’ll have to live with the what-ifs which will haunt us for the rest of our lives.
“Despite the way that our beautiful son has been spoken about sometimes, as if he is not worthy of a chance at life, our son is an absolute warrior and we could not be prouder of him and we will miss him terribly.
“His body, heart and soul may soon be gone, but his spirit will live on for eternity and he will make a difference to people’s lives for years to come. We will make sure of that.
“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.
“And we will ask that our privacy is respected during this very difficult time.
“To Charlie we say mummy and daddy, we love you so much. We always have and we always will and we are so sorry we couldn’t save you.
“Sweet dreams baby, sleep tight our beautiful little boy. We love you.”