The parents of the terminally ill baby, Charlie Gard, have not given up on his son because of his rare condition, and now they delivered a petition so they can move him to the United States where he would receive a different treatment.

The case of the 11-month old boy, or the “Charlie Gard treatment controversy,” has moved the heart of millions around the world, even Pope Francis has offered help for Charlie. In fact, the petition comes after two U.S. congressmen promised his parents to give permanent residency status to the whole family, while the boy goes through the treatment there, which could be his last hope to survive. However, the hospital in London refused to let go of Charlie because they considered that Charlie would only suffer for a longer period.

Image Credit: PA / Daily Mail U.K.
Charlie, Chris Gard, and Connie Yates. Image Credit: PA / Daily Mail U.K.

“Despite Charlie’s heartbreaking condition, his parents have refused to give up hope. They have advocated for him fiercely,” Brad Wenstrup, Representative for Ohio, and Trent Franks, Representative for Arizona, said in a statement last week. “Should this little boy to be ordered to die – because a third party, overriding the wishes of his parents, believes it can conclusively determine that immediate death is what is best for him?”

Charlie deserves a chance at life

Chris Gard and Connie Yates gave on Sunday the petition to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London where Charlie is connected to life support. This petition has over 350,000 signatures asking for Charlie’s transfer to the hospital in the United States where there is an experimental treatment that could save the boy. Their parents say that they should have the right to determine the future of their baby:

“He’s our son. He’s our flesh and blood. We feel it should be our right as parents to decide to give him a chance at life,” Connie Yates told reporters on Sunday. “There is nothing to lose. He deserves a chance.”

However, the hospital refuses to allow this because it says that what Charlie’s parents want “would prolong Charlie’s suffering” and it can’t be justified. Additionally, Justice Nicholas Francis of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice ruled in April that withdrawing life support was in the boy’s best interest. For this reason, their parents are not allowed to take him somewhere else yet.

The hospital intended to remove Charlie from life support on June 30, but something happened

Their parents tried to appeal the decision, but they lost. The European Court of Human Rights also rejected the parents’ request last month. Therefore, as the battle appeared to be lost for Charlie, the hospital was to take away the life support system from Charlie last June 30.

In despair, Connie, Charlie’s mother, wrote to Theresa May for help; but Justice Secretary David Lidington said that though the case is unfortunate, the government can’t interfere with the decision of the court.

“It is right that judges interpret the law, independently and dispassionately,” he said. “As ministers and as a government, we have no role to play in the Charlie Gard case, as would be the case in any other proceeding in court.”

However, things changed when the hospital urged the England’s High Court to rehear the case of Charlie as there was evidence of new treatments for the baby. Apparently, a team of seven doctors from different parts of the world sent evidence to the hospital in London. They alerted about new unpublished data that could help Charlie. One of these doctors is Bambino Gesù, who had already offered his help to treat Charlie in Rome. Data shows that mice have improved incredibly with the proposed experimental treatment. Though the genetics between mice and human are not the same, this is an excellent opportunity to treat Charlie’s condition.

Charlie condition doesn’t allow him to see, hear move or breath

Charlie was born in August 2016. Sadly, he suffers from a rare condition named infantile-onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, or MDDS, a genetic condition that makes it impossible for Charlie to see, hear, move or breathe on his own.

Charlie’s father says that an American hospital has offered help so his soon undergo treatment by doctors who are specialists in Charlie’s genetic condition.

Image Credit: Eddie Keogh / Reuters
Image Credit: Eddie Keogh / Reuters

“This has a chance. It’s got up to 10 percent chance of working for Charlie, and we feel that that’s a chance worth taking,” Connie Yates said of the treatment. “We’ve been fighting for this medication since November. We’re now in July.”

They started an online fundraising campaign to take Charlie to the U.S., and it has raised $1.7 million (about 1.3 million pounds) Apparently, the High Court will say in the next days if the treatment in the United States should start after the hospital’s petition. If the transfer is approved, they would have enough money and no legal problems to get to the U.S.

Source: The Chicago Tribune