Charlie Gard's parents withdraw appeal to seek treatment

Charlie was diagnosed with infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, an autosomal recessive disorder that causes a drop in an individual's mitochondrial DNA in affected tissues.

Gard has suffered irreversible damage to his muscle tissue and is now untreatable, thanks to the protracted battle with the United Kingdom legal system that prevented Gard from receiving potentially life-saving treatment early on.

"Our son is an absolute warrior and we could not be prouder of him and we will miss him terribly", Ms Yates told High Court, as she and Mr Gard accepted that the fight had to end.

"No parent could have done more for their child", he said. We owe it to him to not let his life be in vain.

Gard, his voice cracking with emotion, lamented the fact the child will not see his first birthday in two weeks. He said: "We are so sorry we could not save you, sleep tight our sweet boy, we love you".

Doctors at the trust believe the life support should be turned off but the child's parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, want to take him to the USA for experimental treatment, resulting in a series of High Court hearings. GOSH physicians say that he is also brain damaged but Charlie's parents claim the doctors are wrong.

"If Charlie has had a relationship with the world around him since his best interests were determined, it has been one of suffering", the hospital said in a statement read by attorney Katie Gollop.

But now, unfortunately, it looks as though it's just too late to help Charlie.

The decision to take Charlie off a ventilator was made after he was assessed by Dr Michia Hirano, a U.S. professor of neurology, who concluded that the treatment was no longer an option for the baby.

"We have decided its no longer in Charlie's interest to have treatment".

Parents of critically ill baby Charlie Gard, Chris Gard (L) Connie Yates (R) deliver a statement outside the High Court in central London, Britain, 24 July 2017.

Earlier this year, the London hospital treating him asked for permission to remove him from life support, calling it the most humane path forward. Yet had the parents been allowed to use the private resources they had accumulated and exercised their choice to get Charlie that last chance, his life may have turned out better.

The latest legal battle saw new testimony from a U.S. neurologist, but a lawyer also warned the boy's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard that latest scans made "sad reading".

Judge Nicholas Francis scheduled the two-day hearing for this week to consider fresh evidence after Dr. Michio Hirano, an American neurology expert from Columbia Medical Center in NY, came to London to examine the child.

In response, Chris Gard shouted "evil", while mother Connie burst into tears.

The 11-month-old has a rare genetic condition, and his parents want to take him to America to receive an experimental treatment. It argued that under British law the courts have the final say in medical disputes about children.

The heartwrenching case attracted global support from both President Trump and the Pope, with supporters calling themselves "Charlie's Army" and attending the court each day.

Last week, Great Ormond Hospital, where Charlie is being cared for, told his parents that the latest scan of the child's brain made for "sad reading".

  • Jon Douglas