Tag: Charlie Gard

Charlie Gard was baptized, held St. Jude medal before death

Charlie Gard was baptized, held St. Jude medal before death

Charlie Gard, an 11 month-old British infant who made headlines around the world over a fierce legal battle on parental rights, had been baptized by April.

Around that time, a picture of his tiny fist made the rounds on the internet of him clutching a St. Jude medal.

The boy’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, on Friday issued a statement announcing his death, saying: “Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.”

Family spokesperson Alison Smith-Squire announced on Sunday that he will be buried with his toy monkeys, pictured with him in one of the viral photos of the boy.

“We should be planning Charlie’s first birthday but instead we’re planning his funeral,” his mother said, according to the Sun.

According to the Sun, his parents spent the weekend with family and on Monday were planning to register his death. They had wanted to keep a low profile from the media after the boy’s passing.

Charlie had been at the center of a legal battle between his parents and the Great Ormund Street Hospital (GOSH), an internationally known children’s hospital where he was being cared for. The case raised questions about medical ethics, end-of-life procedure, and parental rights.

Charlie was born on Aug. 4 last year, and in September was discovered to have a rare genetic condition which resulted in muscular deterioration. He was believed to be one of 16 sufferers of the disease in the world.

He was admitted to GOSH in October, and in a series of court cases stretching from March to June, judges repeatedly ruled in favor of doctors who wished to have the boy’s life support removed, all the way to the European Court of Human Rights’ rejection to hear the case. Yates and Gard had hoped to take Charlie to the U.S. for experimental treatment.

In early July, both Pope Francis and U.S. president Donald Trump intervened in support of the family on twitter. Trump said that the United States would cooperate with the boy’s parents in helping Charlie receive the experimental care.

On July 10, unpublished research on Charlie’s condition seemed to indicate the therapy being developed in the States could improve his condition. However, as weeks passed, his condition deteriorated beyond chance of improvement, and GOSH doctors insisted that international specialists claiming he could improve had not fully reviewed his medical records.

Yates and Gard conceded their legal battle on Monday after the latest medical reports indicated their son was beyond improvement indefinitely, and began fighting to have him spend a week in care at home before life support would be pulled.

On Thursday, Yates announced that they had been denied their wish to have him die at home. The boy’s parents had wished to spend a week with him in hospice. This too, however, was denied to them on the grounds that it may cause Charlie prolonged suffering, according to GOSH doctors.

The boy’s death was announced on Friday in a statement from the family.

A number of prominent figures, both from the secular and Catholic worlds, made statements on the passing of the little boy whose plight sparked international support as well as a debate on medical, infant, and parental rights.

Shortly after his passing was announced, Pope Francis tweeted his solidarity with the parents.

“I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him,” the pontiff said. He had previously made two statements in support of and solidarity with the child and his parents. One of these statements led to “the Pope’s hospital,” l’Ospedale Bambino Gesù, offering to care for Charlie.

Days before the boy’s passing, Bambino Gesù issued another statement, called “Charlie’s Legacy,” noting that it was too late for the boy to receive care but also commending the fact that “(f)or the first time, the international scientific community has gathered around a single patient, to carefully evaluate all the possibilities.” They called this “the true legacy of Charlie.”

The Great Ormund Street Hospital, where Charlie spent much of his final months, sent “heartfelt condolences.” Charlie’s parent had accused the hospital of putting up “obstacles” to allowing their child to die at home. The parents’ taking GOSH to court was the spark that lit the months-long legal turmoil for the family.

Theresa May, Prime Minister of Great Britain, said: “I am deeply saddened by the death of Charlie Gard. My thoughts and prayers are with Charlie’s parents Chris and Connie at this difficult time.”

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted, “Saddened to hear of the Passing of Charlie Gard. Karen & I offer our prayers & condolences to his loving parents during this difficult time.”

The March for Life issued a statement with their condolences and offering their prayers for the family.

“Though his life here on earth was cut short, Charlie’s spirit will continue to inspire an international fight to ensure that the sanctity of every human life is respected,” the March’s statement said.

Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life, issued a statement saying that “Our hearts are heavy today as we learn of Charlie Gard’s passing. We are so thankful for his life, which though too brief, has made a lasting impact on the world and drawn together people from all walks of life and political persuasions, uniting them around the dignity and value of every human being.” She also offered condolences to the parents and assured that “Charlie’s legacy” would build a culture of life.

The Catholic Association (TCA) also offered their condolences, noting that Gard and Yates had to endure both the death of their son as well as a tumultuous legal fight.

“(T)his excruciating decision should have belonged to his loving and devoted parents,” the TCA said. “There was no apparent compelling justification for the courts to override and replace the unique parental bond of love in this case, which has only added to the heartbreak of Charlie’s passing.”

The TCA statement continued: “The international response to the plight of this baby is a beautiful testament to the irreplaceable value of one human life.”

Source: CatholicNewsAgency

Rest In Peace Charlie Gard

Rest In Peace Charlie Gard

A spokesperson for the parents of terminally ill British infant Charlie Gard has reported that their “beautiful little boy” has died.

He had been taken into hospice care on July 27, a day before the announcement of his death. In a statement, his mother said: “Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.”

Gard, 11 months old, and his parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, had been at the center of a months-long legal debate regarding parental rights and human life. They had been denied the chance to take him to the U.S. for experimental treatment as well as their wish to spend a week with him in hospice care at home.

The case garnered international attention and support, with President Donald Trump and Pope Francis both weighing in via twitter in early July in support of the boy and his parents. The pediatric hospital Bambino Gesù in Rome, known as “the pope’s hospital,” offered to care for the boy.

The parents had raised £1.35 million for treatment.

He suffered from a rare mitochondrial disease which paralyzes muscles and causes brain damage. He was believed to be only one of 16 sufferers in the world.

 

May the soul of Charlie Gard and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

Pope Francis Prays For Charlie Gard

Pope Francis Prays For Charlie Gard

As the battle to save the life of Charlie Gard ends, the Holy Father Pope Francis prays for Charlie and his parents.

After a US neurologist determined that an experimental therapy could no longer potentially be of aid to a British baby born with a disabling medical condition, his parents have given up a legal challenge to take him to the US for the treatment.

British and European courts had sided with English hospital officials who sought to bar Charlie Gard’s parents from seeking treatment overseas.

Greg Burke, the Holy See press officer, said July 24 that “Pope Francis is praying for Charlie and his parents and feels especially close to them at this time of immense suffering. The Holy Father asks that we join in prayer that they may find God’s consolation and love.”

 

Charlie Gard, aged 11 months, is believed to suffer from a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness. The disorder is believed to affect fewer than 20 children worldwide. Charlie has been in intensive care since October 2016. He has suffered significant brain damage due to the disease and is currently fed through a tube. He breathes with an artificial ventilator and is unable to move.

His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, had wanted to keep him on life support and transport him to the United States in order to try an experimental treatment. They raised more than $1.6 million to help seek his treatment in the US.

However, their decision was challenged in court by hospitals and an attorney appointed to represent Charlie. The parents appealed a High Court decision, and their appeal to the U.K.’s Supreme Court was rejected.

The efforts to keep Charlie’s parents from seeking overseas treatment were based on deep ethical errors, a Catholic expert in medical ethics told CNA earlier this year. Dr. Melissa Moschella said the hospital’s effort represented a “quality of life” ethic that says human life is valuable only if it meets certain capacities, and that it is moreover a violation of parental rights.

A neurologist in the US, Dr. Michio Hirano, had been willing to offer Gard nucleoside bypass therapy, while acknowledging it would not necessarily heal him. But after seeing a new MRI scan this week, Hirano declined to offer the therapy.

 

According to the Guardian, Connie said, “All our efforts are for [Charlie], we only want to give him a chance at life. There’s one simple reason for Charlie’s muscular deterioration [and] that was time,” noting the lengthy decisions from the courts of London which restricted Charlie from the U.S. treatment.

The representative for Charlie’s parents, Grant Armstrong said, “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.”

The child’s life support is expected to be pulled in the next few days.

His parents now wish to establish a charity to research and combat mitochondrial depletion syndrome.

Legal Battle To Save Charlie Gard Ends

Legal Battle To Save Charlie Gard Ends

Parents: “We’ll have to live with the what-ifs, which will haunt us for the rest of our lives”

The parents of gravely ill Charlie Gard announced they have ended their legal battle to save their baby’s life. “Charlie’s been left for his illness to deteriorate devastatingly to the point of no return,” they said Monday.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates made the decision after Dr. Michio Hirano, a U.S. neurologist and expert in mitochondrial diseases, told them it was now too late for the nucleoside therapy to help. Hirano explained his change in position after he saw the results of the MRI scan last week.

In a statement read outside the court on Monday, Gard said, “As Charlie’s devoted and loving parents, we’ve decided that it is no longer in Charlie’s best interest to pursue treatment, and we will let our son go and be with the angels.”

They explained that “a lot of time has been wasted,” and “we are now in July, and our poor boy has been left to just lie in the hospital for months without any treatment, whilst lengthy court battles have been fought.”

“Tragically, having had Charlie’s medical notes reviewed by independent experts, we now know had Charlie been given the treatment sooner, he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy.”

They explained that was the reason they kept fighting, saying “as his parents, we knew our son,” and “this has also never been about ‘parents know best.'”

Supporters of the family have reacted with grief and anger. Earlier, staffers at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) received thousands of abusive messages, harassment and even death threats. Yates and Gard spoke out against these messages, saying “we have been shocked by some of the public response to this case and agree with them that it is disgraceful that doctors have received death threats.”

Yates goes on to say, “Despite conflicting issues, we have always had the utmost respect for all the staff who work tirelessly at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the very difficult jobs they do every day.” She added that they have also received “hurtful comments.”

“Chris and I are just ordinary parents with a very sick baby, and we simply have his best interests at heart,” Yates explained.

Supporters outside the hospital reacted by chanting “shame on you, judge” and “shame on GOSH.”

“Charlie has had a greater impact on and touched more people in this world in his 11 months than many people do in a lifetime,” Yates and Gard claim. They go on to say he was an “absolute warrior,” and “we could not have more love and pride for our beautiful boy.”

They are asking that their “privacy is respected during this very difficult time.”

“We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won’t make his first birthday in just under two weeks’ time,” his parents said.

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