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charlie gard

‘Worst nightmare’ realised for Charlie Gard’s parents as legal battle ends

The parents of terminally baby Charlie Gard have their ‘worst nightmare’ realised as they end their legal challenge to have their child treated in the US.

Grant Armstrong, representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates, told the High Court that Charlie’s parents had made the devastating decision after a US doctor said it was too late for the baby to undergo the experimental nucleoside therapy, which his parents hoped would treat his mitochondrial depletion syndrome.

“The parents’ worst nightmare have been confirmed,” Mr Armstrong said. “It is now too late to treat Charlie.

“For Charlie, it’s too late, time has run out, irreversible muscular damage has been done and the treatment can no longer be a success.

“Charlie has waited patiently for treatment. Due to delay, that window of opportunity has been lost.”

Mr Armstrong told judge Mr Justice Francis that the American Dr Michio Hirano said he was now unwilling to give the baby the treatment, after being shown the results of the new MRI scan last week.

Mr Gard and Ms Yates, who had raised £1.3 million worth of donations to take the 11-month-old to America for treatment, will now look to set up a foundation, so that Charlie’s voice ‘continues to be heard’, and hope that lessons will be learned from the case.

Charlie, who suffers from encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, suffers from brain damage, is blind, deaf and is unable to move his limbs or breathe unaided.

Mr Justice Francis praised the child’s parents, adding that nobody could understand their pain or have done more for their child, and that they were now willing to accept that Charlie should be moved palliative care to be allowed to die with dignity.

Meanwhile Katie Gollop, representing Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), said that the hearts of everyone at the hospital ‘go out to Charlie, his mother and father’.

“We only wanted to give him a chance of life,” said Charlie’s mother, Ms Yates. “A whole lot of time has been wasted,” she said, before adding that she hoped her son’s life was not in vain.

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