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Prayers and tributes as little Charlie Gard loses battle for life

By Staff Reporter

The heartbroken mother of Charlie Gard last night paid tribute to her "beautiful little boy" after he died a week before his first birthday.

The 11-month-old, who had a rare genetic condition, was at the centre of a legal battle between his parents and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) that attracted worldwide attention.

In a statement following his death yesterday, his mother Connie Yates said: "Our beautiful little boy has gone, we're so proud of him."

Pope Francis, who had shown his support for Ms Yates and Charlie's father, Chris Gard, during their lengthy legal challenge for him to have experimental treatment, said yesterday he was praying for the family.

He tweeted: "I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him."

A court had ordered that Charlie be moved to a hospice where his life support would be withdrawn.

The hospital where he spent most of his short life sent "heartfelt condolences" to the family, while Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "deeply saddened" by his death.

A GOSH spokeswoman commented: "Everyone at Great Ormond Street Hospital sends their heartfelt condolences to Charlie's parents and loved ones at this very sad time."

Mrs May said: "I am deeply saddened by the death of Charlie Gard. My thoughts and prayers are with Charlie's parents Chris and Connie at this difficult time."

Ms Yates and Mr Gard had wanted to take their severely ill son to the US for treatment.

His plight saw hundreds of supporters lend their support and raise £1.35m. On Thursday Ms Yates claimed the couple were "denied" their "final wish" when a High Court judge approved a plan to see Charlie moved to a hospice and have his life support withdrawn.

They had pleaded to be allowed more time with him, after their earlier request to take him home to die also failed.

Charlie, who was born on August 4 last year, had a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

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