Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Mother vows to keep fighting for terminally ill Charlie Gard

The mother of a terminally ill baby at the centre of a life support treatment dispute has vowed to keep fighting until all hopes of treating him have been exhausted.

Connie Yates criticised a High Court's judge's ruling that her eight-month-old son Charlie Gard's life support should be withdrawn rather than allow him to be flown to America for a treatment trial.

A crowdfunding campaign to pay for the treatment has received more than £1,270,000 in donations, £30,000 short of its target.

Bosses at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London had asked the judge to rule that withdrawing Charlie's life-support treatment would be lawful.

In his judgment on Tuesday, Mr Justice Francis told Ms Yates and Charlie's father, Chris Gard, it was with the ''heaviest of hearts'' but with ''complete conviction'' that the youngster should be allowed to die with dignity.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ms Yates said: "If we thought there was absolutely no hope we would not have fought for this.

"But if there is even the slimmest chance of a treatment working, and the doctor in the US told us he believes there is, what loving parent would not take that chance?"

Despite the verdict, the couple, who are in their 30s, want to continue their fight and, if possible, appeal the ruling - an option being assessed by their solicitor.

Ms Yates said pursuing all options for Charlie's treatment was not a selfish act "because we can't bear to let him go".

"It is because if we did not fight for this chance, we will have to live with the 'what if?' forever. It's that 'what if?' which for us would be so unbearable," she said.

Doctors say they will continue to provide life support treatment until appeal decisions have been made.

Mr Justice Francis granted the hospital's application after analysing the case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London over three days.

Mr Justice Francis heard that Charlie, who was born on August 4, had a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

Specialists in the US had offered a therapy called nucleoside. But the judge said experts were agreed that the treatment could not reverse Charlie's structural brain damage.

"Because we know our son, we do not believe Charlie has the structural brain damage doctors say he has," Ms Yates told the newspaper.

Mr Justice Francis said Great Ormond Street doctors had considered the experimental treatment on offer in America but decided that it would not help Charlie.

He said the case had never been ''about money''.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph