Is there new hope?: An UPDATE on dying baby, Charlie Gard and his parent's fight for more treatment
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Eleven-month-old Charlie Gard was given a death sentence after being born with a rare genetic disorder. His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, refuse to give up on their son and continue to fight for further treatment.
Charlie Gard was born with the Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Charlie's story captured hearts all over the world when his hospital declared it would be in the infant's best interest to be removed from life support.
His parents did not agree with the decision and took his case to judges in not only the High Court but also the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court in London. Gard and Yates wished to have Charlie moved to a hospital in the United States to undergo experimental treatment for his condition.
The courts blocked their request on June 30. Charlie's physicians were prepared to remove his life support but granted his parents a few more days with their child.
"We are continuing to spend every moment working around the clock to save our dear baby Charlie. We've been requesting this specialized treatment since November, and never asked the hospital, the courts, or anyone for anything except for the permission to go," stated Charlie's parents in a statement read to the media by a family friend, Alasdair Seton-Marsden.
"We've raised over 1.3 million Euros, and have had invitations from specialized doctors in the US and Italy. They've offered their groundbreaking treatment to us, and are confident that they can help Charlie. We will continue to make the case for us to seek treatment for Charlie with doctors that are actually specialized in mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, and we hope that the judge and the courts will finally rule in favor of us seeking treatment elsewhere."
Gard and Yates appeared once again in the High Court Thursday morning to present the judge with new evidence regarding Charlie's condition.
"His [Charlie's] welfare is the prime concern for all of us though we may approach it in different ways," Justice Nicholas Francis stated, according to CNN. "If there is important new evidence that suggests my decision should be changed then I will change it."
Two hours into the Thursday hearing, Charlie's parents walked out of the court after the judge made a comment stating Yates said she would "not want to prolong Charlie's life in its present state if there was no hope for the future."
"I never said that!" she exclaimed before leaving.
During the hearing, Judge Francis asked to be presented with the latest measurement of Charlie's head circumference within 24 hours, because it was unruly to him that it had not been measured since Monday.
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The Judge also argued over the fact the proposed treatment has never been tested on mice nor humans.
"As I understand it, there are only four people in the world with this condition -- you can't do a controlled trial," explained Grant Armstrong, the family's barrister.
Pope Francis, previously offering the parents a stay at the Vatican hospital for Charlie, continues to offer his prayers for the young soul, as do many others across the globe.
On Monday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence expressed on "The Rush Limbaugh Show," "he was praying Charlie's family would be able to choose the greatest extent of life-saving treatment that's available for their child."
It is not clear whether the experimental treatment in the U.S. really will help save Charlie. His condition, the Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, causes muscle weakness and loss of motor skills. Those who have it are left unable to walk, eat, talk or stand and eventually cannot breathe.
Charlie's doctors do not believe his condition can be improved with the treatment. His doctors have stated he will die from his illness.
Charlie's parents will not give up hope for their baby and neither will the hundreds of thousands of people who have followed his story.
"We love him more than life itself," expressed the parents in a statement. "If he is still fighting, then we are still fighting."
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