Terminally ill British baby, Charlie Gard, dies

Charlie Gard

The parents of critically ill Charlie Gard on Friday announced that their son has died a week to his first birthday after being transferred to a hospice.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard on Monday abandoned their five-month legal battle to have him taken from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London to the United States of America for experimental treatment, after acknowledging that his condition had deteriorated.

They then fought to have him taken home, saying it was their “last wish” for Charlie to die at home.

However, the couple were unable to find a 24/7 intensive care team to keep him alive and he was taken to an unspecified children’s hospice on Thursday, where he died the following day.

In a statement, Yates said: “Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.”

She and Gard had wanted to spend up to a week at the hospice with Charlie before he was taken off a ventilator, but the high court ruled that this would require a specialist team to stay with him round the clock in the hospice.

After his parents were unable to source such a team, the judge, Mr Justice Francis, said an alternative plan should be put in place involving a much shorter time spent at the hospice on life support.

Hundreds of people, who called themselves Charlie’s Army, supported the campaign for him to receive treatment in the US, raising £1.35m.

Pope Francis and US president Donald Trump weighed into the debate, with the Vatican saying the pontiff prayed for “their wish to accompany and treat their child until the end is not neglected”.

Charlie, who was born on August 4 2016, had a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

Described as “perfectly healthy” when he was born, Charlie was admitted to hospital at eight weeks and his condition progressively deteriorated.

The couple said they wanted to take their son across the Atlantic for nucleoside bypass therapy, but specialists at GOSH said the treatment was experimental and would not help.