People everywhere seem to be rooting for Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old British baby with a rare genetic disease who the U.K. courts have given up on — stripping his parents’ parental rights in the process and originally giving the hospital authority to remove him from life support.
Thankfully, though, baby Charlie and his family may be getting a second chance, since the U.K. courts have finally decided to allow a U.S. specialist to fly over and examine him. (via The Telegraph)
Little Charlie Gard has taken up residence at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London after being diagnosed with an incurable genetic disorder that has left him unable to breathe on his own. The baby’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have been fighting the U.K. hospital to keep him alive after they suggested it was time to remove his life support devices. The fight finally went to court, which is customary in European countries when there is a disagreement over such matters between medical professionals and families.
Though the courts originally ruled against the parents in agreement with the London hospital caring for the infant, new evidence spurred a second look at the baby’s case. Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University Medical Center agreed to examine the baby himself. He testified in Thursday’s court hearing that he believed the baby has a 10 percent chance of improvement if they are able to administer some experimental treatment. High Court Judge Nicholas Francis, who is overseeing the case, said he is “open-minded about the evidence” to come after the U.S. doctor visits.
The New York doctor, also a Columbia neurology professor, has done extensive research and treatment on diseases like Charlie’s and has agreed to meet with the baby’s London doctors to discuss his case.
If the evidence proves that Charlie has a chance at survival and recovery, the judge could rule in favor of him being moved to a U.S. hospital for treatment. NY Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center are among the hospitals that may be treating Charlie as long as he can be transferred safely and the FDA approves the experimental treatment.
Great Ormond Hospital professionals have argued that the baby should be taken off his ventilator and allowed to pass peacefully, but the family feels that their son deserves a fighting chance.
Little Charlie and his parents deserve every last chance to save his life. Do you agree? Let everyone know in the poll below.
“I’ve heard from doctors that there’s around a 10 percent chance of this working for Charlie, so I think that’s a good enough chance to take,” Charlie’s mother told Good Morning Britain. “He’s our own flesh and blood and we don’t even have a say in his life whatsoever. We are not bad parents, we are there for him all the time, we are completely devoted to him and he’s not in pain and suffering, and I promise everyone I would not sit there and watch my son in pain and suffering, I couldn’t do it.”
Pope Francis, President Trump and Americans United for Life, among others, have offered support for Charlie’s parents and have managed to shine a light on their situation. Judge Francis has decided to postpone a final decision on the matter until the findings of Dr. Hirano have been reported.