It’s most likely you’ve heard about British baby Charlie Gard, who’s been at the centre of a huge global, legal battle riddled with ethical and moral implications.
Just last Friday (28 July), one week before his birthday, this little angel gave up his fight for life after his life support machine was switched off.
His mummy, Connie Yates said in a statement, “Our beautiful little boy has gone, we’re so proud of him.”
To give you some quick facts about the little one’s short life and condition:
- August 4, 2016 – Charlie Gard was born
- When he was a few weeks old, he had trouble lifting his head, wasn’t growing well and needed a feeding tube
- Breathing became shallow over time
- October 11, 2016 – admitted to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London
- Diagnosed with Encephalomyopathic Mithochondrial DNA depletion syndrome
- Condition caused muscle and organ dysfunction & cerebral disorders
- Charlie is 1 of 16 people to have ever had the condition
- Resulted in extensive brain damage and Charlie having to be on life support
- He can neither breathe, see, hear nor swallow on his own
Not given a chance?
After little Charlie was diagnosed with the disease, his parents – Chris Gard and Connie Yates – found through their own research, a doctor in the US.
This doctor, Michio Hirano of New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, specialises in myopathies and other neuromuscular diseases, according to the CNN.
Dr. Hirano was willing to treat little Charlie, and, after flying to the US to examine the little one, testified “that there was an 11% to 56% chance Charlie could show clinically significant improvement if treated.”
In January this year, Charlie’s parents launched a GoFundMe page to collect enough money to take Charlie to the US for what might have been potentially life-saving treatment.
While they got donations equalling to more than what they needed, the hospital decided not to release the baby, arguing that it was not in his best interest, and that any treatment was not likely to help him.
The case quickly snowballed into an international legal battle, with the hospital (backed by the UK Supreme Courts) eventually wanting the baby taken off life support.
Rest in Peace, little hero…
Ran out of time
Despite all this legal resistance, and backed by support rolling in from around the world, Charlie’s parents did not give up their fight for their little boy’s life.
But on Monday 24 July, it was found that the baby’s muscles had deteriorated beyond repair. He was not braindead though, according to an update by his parents, on their Facebook page.
Too much time had passed with little done for the baby.
On Thursday, the judge’s order to remove life support and move Charlie to hospice took effect.
“Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you. We had the chance but we weren’t allowed to give you that chance. Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy,” Charlie’s parents said in a statement soon after their little baby passed away.
We at theAsianparent extend our heartfelt condolences to them and cannot imagine what they must be going through right now as parents.
Rest in peace, little hero.