Charlie Gard’s heartbroken parents lashed out against the hospital today for denying them their final wish to spend a few more days with their son before he dies.
Earlier today, a London High Court judge ruled that Charlie will be sent to a hospice facility and his ventilator will be removed soon. The 11-month-old British infant suffers from a rare mitochondrial disease and brain damage.
Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, asked to take Charlie home to die and to have a few more days to say goodbye to him before his ventilator is removed. Great Ormond Street Hospital opposed these requests.
In a statement today, Yates slammed the hospital for denying “us our final wish,” the Mirror reports.
“We just want some peace with our son, no hospital, no lawyers, no courts, no media, just quality time with Charlie away from everything to say goodbye to him in the most loving way,” she said. “Most people won’t ever have to go through what we have been through, we’ve had no control over our son’s life and no control over our son’s death.”
On Wednesday, his mother sent out a last-minute plea on social media asking for medical professionals who would be willing to help them fulfill their final wish and care for Charlie in his final days.
Yates later said two doctors answered their request. She said they were willing to provide on-site care around the clock for their son until he died. The family also had a team of intensive care nurses who also were ready to care for Charlie constantly in his final days, she said.
“Additionally, we have been offered the use of a two-bedroom flat which is fully equipped with all the required equipment,” Yates said. “Despite us and our legal team working tirelessly to arrange this near impossible task, the judge has ordered against what we arranged and has agreed to what GOSH asked.”
Yates said the judge’s decision gives them very little time with their son.
“I’m not allowed to disclose the time or place, but I’m shocked that after all we’ve been through they won’t allow us this extra time,” she concluded.
Here’s more from the Huffington Post:
Great Ormond Street Hospital said on Thursday it deeply regrets “that profound and heartfelt differences between” Charlie’s doctors and his parents “have had to be played out in court over such a protracted period”.
Charlie’s parents have said they do not expect him to live to see his first birthday on August 4.
GOSH doctors said it was not practical to provide life-support treatment to Charlie at the couple’s home. They said a hospice would be a better plan, and that life-support treatment should end shortly after Charlie arrived, claiming it is not his interests to spend a long period in a hospice.
Yates walked out of Wednesday’s hearing in tears after the judge set the timetable. She yelled: “I hope you are happy with yourselves.”
Attorney Grant Armstrong, who led Charlie’s parents’ legal team, said the couple wanted to privately fund care at a hospice where Charlie could continue to receive life-support treatment for days before being allowed to die. He said a doctor was ready to help and several Great Ormond Street nurses had volunteered their services.
On Monday, Connie Yates and Chris Gard decided to end the legal battle to get their son experimental treatment. Based on new evidence, the couple said Charlie’s condition has deteriorated too much and there no longer is any hope of the experimental treatment working.
Their final request to a judge this week was to be allowed to take Charlie home to die or at least given a few days with him to say goodbye before his ventilator is removed. The 11-month-old British infant has a rare mitochondrial disease. His parents and Great Ormond Street Hospital have been in a months-long legal battle over his treatment.
London High Court Justice Francis gave Charlie’s parents and the hospital until noon today (British time) to agree on a plan for Charlie’s final hours; if they did not, the judge said Charlie would be moved to hospice, according to the Mirror.
But the noon deadline now has passed, and the two sides have not reached an agreement. The judge ruled that Charlie will be moved to hospice.
Charlie’s first birthday is Aug. 4.
Charlie’s parents have long expressed the desire to be allowed to take him home to die. However, their first choice was to take Charlie to the United States for an experimental treatment. They raised more than $1.5 million for his medical care.
His parents said they knew the chance of the experimental treatment working was slim, but they wanted to try anyway for Charlie’s sake.
However, the courts and hospital refused to allow them to transfer their son to another hospital. About a month ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the hospital can remove Charlie’s life support and allow him to die. However, the hospital later agreed to consider new evidence involving Charlie’s condition before taking him off the ventilator.
But on Monday, lawyer Grant Armstrong said experts confirmed that it is too late to treat their son.
The BBC reports Armstrong “told the presiding judge Mr Justice Francis that US neurologist Dr Michio Hirano had said he was no longer willing to offer the baby experimental therapy after he saw the results of a new MRI scan last week.”
Hirano previously said Charlie had an 11 percent to 56 percent chance of benefiting from the experimental treatment. He and a group of doctors examined Charlie last week and gave their expert opinions to the judge.
Questions remain about whether Charlie could have benefited from the experimental treatment, had it not been delayed for months during the legal battle between Charlie’s parents and the hospital. The court battle began in March.
Despite all of his problems, Charlie’s parents – and millions like them – believe that Charlie is a valuable, living human being who should be given a chance to live, and his parents should be allowed to make decisions about his medical care.
His mother told Good Morning Britain previously that she does not want her son to suffer. She said it has been “absolute living hell” to wait and wonder when the hospital might end his life support.
“He’s our own flesh and blood and we don’t even have a say in his life whatsoever,” Yates said. “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.”
In the Royal Court of Justice in London, Connie stated, “Charlie was left to lie [in Great Ormond Street Hospital] and deteriorate. We wanted Charlie to have the chance … [there] was never false hope, as confirmed by many experts. Now we’ll never know…” Connie and Chris underscored that they “should have been trusted as parents.”
Despite all of his problems, Charlie’s parents – and millions like them – believe that Charlie is a valuable, living human being who should be given a chance to live.
Leading pro-life advocates helped Charlie’s parents fight for his life.
Charlie’s parents brought Terri Schiavo’s brother Bobby Schindler to London to help them fight for care for their son. Schindler spoke with LifeNews exclusively about their invitation.
Schindler told LifeNews: “We are here by invitation from the family to come alongside them as they struggle to save their son, Charlie. The critical issue here is not a political one, but the simple notion that families know what is best for their loved ones.”
“Charlie’s situation is very reminiscent of my family’s battle to save my sister, Terri. Hopefully being here can help his parents, Connie and Charlie, deal with the day-to-day emotional roller coaster, as they fight for their son’s right to live,” Schindler added.