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Beautiful baby, Charlie Gard dies days before 1st birthday after parents lose legal battle

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Parents accept court's decision and take baby off life-support.

Angel baby, Charlie Gard has passed away after a long and public legal battle between his parents and his hospital, the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Charlie would have turned one this week.

May you rest in peace, Charlie Gard.

May you rest in peace, Charlie Gard.

Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Charlie Gard became internationally recognized after reports of his parents', Chris Gard and Connie Yates, court cases became public.

Charlie suffered from a rare genetic disorder called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, leaving him with brain damage and unable to breath without a machine.

His parents desperately wanted to save their baby boy's life at any means necessary. Together they raised more than $1.7 million to take Charlie to the United States for experimental treatment. However, his hospital team objected, in belief that any further treatment would only cause the baby to suffer more.


Their dispute ended up in court and news traveled all over the world. It opened up arguments on "the rights of both children and parents, on healthcare funding, medical interventions, the responsibilities of hospitals and medical workers and the role of the state," according to the Catholic Herald.

Under British law, courts often intervene when parents of a patient and the doctors cannot come to an agreement over a child's treatment. The "rights of the child" come to overpower the rights of the parents.

Making its way all the way to Britain's Supreme Court, Charlie Gard's case received its final ruling, with the judge agreeing with the hospital's choice to remove the infant from life support.

Hundreds and hundreds of people, including our very own Pope Francis and US President Donald Trump, cried out and prayed for Charlie. "Right-to-life" activists traveled to show their support for Charlie's parents and their heartbreaking fight.

Hospital staff and Charlie's team of doctors began receiving serious threats for the part they played in the final decision regarding Charlie.

"I do think that in an era of social media, it is possible to rally huge numbers of people to your cause," said Arthur Caplan, of New York University's Langone Medical Center, according to the Catholic Herald, noting the general public is now placed in the middle of major decisions that previously were kept private between patients and doctors. "The medical ethics have not caught up."

After the Vatican's hospital and the Columbia University Medical Center from New York offered their assistance, the Supreme court reopened their case, but ultimately stuck with the previous decision that further treatment would not help Charlie.

Charlie's parents ended their battle last Monday after new scans showed further, irreversible damage to the baby's muscles.

"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," his parents wrote when they announced their decision, according to the Catholic Herald. "We had the chance but we weren't allowed to give you that chance."

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

"Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight, our beautiful little boy."

Charlie was transferred to a hospice and taken off of life support after his parents and hospital team could not agree on an end-of-life plan for him.


According to Alison Smith-Squire, a family spokeswoman, and the Associated Press, Charlie died on Friday.

Yates was also quoted as saying "our beautiful little boy has gone, we're so proud of him."

No further details were provided.

Please join us in prayer for baby Charlie and his family as they learn to mourn and accept the loss of their baby boy.

This beautiful prayer comes from Beliefnet.

"God, bring comfort and peace. Peace is your essence. Peace is your name. Bring peace to this family who has lost their precious child in death.

We come to you, God because we know that you sorrow, and are acquainted with grief. You too have endured the loss of a child. You empathize.

We can't help but ask, "Why?" Forgive our insistence, our confusion, even our anger. We believe that you are just, and we ache to understand how this tragic death is an expression of that justice, how it expresses your love. We also know - in our minds at least - that you seldom answer the "why?" question. We press you, but on these matters you are mostly silent.

What we ask instead is "how?" How can we move forward? How can this bring us together and not tear us apart? How can we now live under the shadow of this untimely death? Answer this prayer with your comfort and guidance.

There is no way to remove the pain. The grief is real. The only sanity is to know, to believe, in a life beyond with you, when all the scales are righted and the sufferings are made good. We trust you and your promise that while this child's life on earth is done, his life beyond has just begun. With that release we lose him and let him go into your arms, then by faith receive in return the boundless comfort of your presence. That is all, that is enough. In Jesus."

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