For the first time, Charlie Gard’s parents shared details this week about their last moments with their son before he died.
The British infant died on July 28 after his life support was removed, following a lengthy court battle between his parents and hospital. He would have turned 1 year old on Aug. 4.
His mother, Connie Yates, said Charlie opened his eyes in the last few minutes of his life and looked at her and Chris Gard, his father, before he died, according to the Inquisitor.
“Charlie opened his eyes and looked at us one last time and closed them before he passed away,” Yates said. “We were warned it might take five or six minutes. But it took 12 until his heart stopped beating.”
His father said Charlie kept fighting for his life all the way up until he died.
“It was typical of our little fighter, our warrior, to keep fighting until the very end,” Gard said.
Here’s more from the report:
Some family members had remained at the hospital for months, rarely leaving the boy’s side. After his death, Connie reached out to the many supporters to let them know of Charlie’s passing.
[Pro-life advocate] Patrick Mahoney, a preacher from the United States who traveled to London to be with the family, was among those who received word immediately after Charlie died.
“I do know that he passed very quickly. I was heartbroken because I know how much they loved Charlie,” Mahoney said (via the Sun). “I cried for Connie and Chris for their heroic fight and for their son.”
The family said Charlie will be buried with his favorite stuffed animals, and the money raised for his medical care will be used to start a charity to help other children with rare diseases.
Charlie suffered from a rare mitochondrial disease and brain damage. He was at the center of a massive international debate after the hospital refused to allow an experimental treatment to help him and also refused to transfer him to another hospital that would allow the treatment.
His parents fought persistently to take Charlie to the United States for an experimental treatment. Yates and Gard said they knew the chance of the experimental treatment working was slim – about 10 percent, 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.
Questions remain about whether Charlie could have benefited from the experimental treatment, had it not been delayed for months during the legal battle. The court battle began in March.
U.S. neurologist Dr. Michio Hirano, an expert in the field, previously said Charlie had an 11 percent to 56 percent chance of benefiting from the experimental treatment. However, when Hirano and a group of doctors examined Charlie in late July, they said he no longer had a chance of benefiting from the treatment.
After Hirano gave his final opinion, Charlie’s parents decided to end the legal battle to get their son experimental treatment. Based on the new evidence, the couple said Charlie’s condition had deteriorated too much and there no longer was any hope of the experimental treatment working.
Last weekend, the news broke that Charlie had died after his life support was removed. Leading pro-life advocates mourned Charlie’s death — saying it is a very concerning harbinger of things to come.
After Charlie’s death, his parents spent the weekend mourning with their family planning their son’s funeral, according to The Sun.
“We should be planning Charlie’s first birthday but instead we’re planning his funeral,” his mother said.
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. Pope Francis and President Donald Trump also expressed support for the sick infant.
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: “The critical issue here is not a political one, but the simple notion that families know what is best for their loved ones.”