Charlie Gard, the baby at the centre of a legal row over his treatment, has died, a family spokesman has confirmed.
In a short statement issued on Friday evening, Ms Yates said:
“Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.”
The 11-month-old, who suffered from an extremely rare genetic condition causing progressive brain damage and muscle weakness, had been at the centre of a five-month long legal battle between his parents and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, was moved to a hospice following a High Court ruling.
Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, had fought against GOSH and how they wanted to turn Charlie’s life-support off, instead wanting an opportunity to take their son to the US for nucleoside bypass therapy, but specialists at GOSH said the treatment was experimental and that Charlie had irreversible brain damage.
The Gard family’s plight was supported by millions of people – the united Charlie’s Army – around the world, who raised £1.5m to cover the costs involved should Charlie have been allowed to go to America. Judges from the High Court, the European Court and the Supreme Court were all asked to give evidence/testify in the case, and all three parties sided with GOSH, saying the treatment would not benefit the youngster.
The couple dropped their legal battle on Monday after Professor Michio Hirano, the American neurologist who had offered to treat him, examined Charlie and said it was too late for it the treatment his parents wanted to try to work. Several weeks earlier, he had co-signed a letter with other medical experts which suggested unpublished data showed therapy could improve Charlie’s brain condition. They claimed that “ideally” the treatment would first be tested on mice but said that, in Charlie’s case, there was no time for such a trial.
After announcing that they had ended their legal challenge, Connie and Chris delivered the following statement to the waiting media gathered outside the courthouse:
“Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you. We had the chance but we weren’t allowed to give you that chance. Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy.”
Today, the Prime Minister Theresa May led the tributes and expressed her condolences in a statement that read:
“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.”
Pope Francis and US Vice-President Mike Pence also tweeted messages of condolence:
Other tributes to Charlie and messages of condolence for his parents have since poured in from around the world on social media and you can read just a few of them below.