Charlie Gard's parents plan charitable foundation in his memory
30 July, 2017, 00:29 | Author: Andrea Terry
The 11-month-old baby suffered from an extremely rare genetic condition causing progressive brain damage and muscle weakness, and his parents' long struggle to save him drew an worldwide outpouring of sympathy, including from US President Donald Trump and Pope Francis.
Charlie died on Friday, July 28, a week before his first birthday.
The Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu children's hospital had offered to transfer Charlie to Rome for treatment, which the pope said should be provided "until the end", as his parents wished.
Great Ormond Street Hospital took the parents to court over the hospital's desire to withdraw Charlie's life support. His case ended up in the courts when doctors opposed the plan, saying the untested therapy wouldn't help Charlie and might cause him to suffer.
The Pope and Theresa May are leading tributes to Charlie Gard. "My thoughts and prayers are with Charlie's parents Chris and Connie at this hard time", May said in a statement released on Friday.
He said: "Saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Gard. Karen [his wife] and I offer our prayers and condolences to his loving parents during this hard time".
"Our attractive little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie", Connie Yates, Charlie's mother, said in a statement, as cited by The Guardian.
Charlie's parents fought ardently in court to ensure their baby was transferred to NY to receive an experimental treatment.
Turning to the newspapers, the Daily Mail, running with the headline "Rest in Peace, Charlie", had always supported the case of Gard's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard, and said the case had "raised so many questions about our age".
The 11 month-old died in a hospice - after being moved there from Great Ormond Street Hospital.
On 23 May, the couple's appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
The couple set up a campaign and ask supporters to sign a petition and write letters to the prime minister of United Kingdom for Charlie's treatment. Charlie Gard's parents also can't remove him from the hospital room.
"My thoughts and prayers with Charlie's parents Chris and Connie at this hard time". "And the case of Charlie Gard is a terrifying warning of what happens when parental rights are removed, and when government officials and courts decide all these decisions related to children".
Pope Francis had tweeted his support for Charlie's parents.
Doctors, nurses and other staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital received messages containing death threats.
President Donald Trump offered his help to Charlie, posting on Twitter that he would be "delighted to do so". "We had the chance but we weren't allowed to give you that chance". "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. "Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our handsome little boy'".
His final days were spent in a different battle as his parents fought to be able to take him home to spend precious hours, and then to a hospice, where his life support was eventually withdrawn last night.
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