Parents of terminally-ill child in UK end legal bid seeking care in US

World Today

Chris Gard,the father of critically ill baby Charlie Gard reads out a statement next t mother Connie Yates, right, at the end of their case at the High Court in London, Monday, July 24, 2017. The parents of critically ill baby Charlie Gard dropped their legal bid Monday to send him to the United States for an experimental treatment after new medical tests showed that the window of opportunity to help him had closed. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

It’s a titanic struggle between medical expertise and parental love with a baby at the center. The parents of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard have ended their legal challenge to take him to the U.S. for experimental medical treatment.

 A lawyer representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates – the parents of the 11-month-old – told the High Court that “time had run out” and their worst nightmare had been confirmed.

CGTN’s Richard Bestic explains the decision that ends the couple’s five-month legal challenge against Great Ormond Street Hospital.

It was a moment of deep emotion as Charlie’s parents stepped out of the High Court to talk about their heartbreaking decision. They were in their words preparing to let their sweet little boy slip away.

“To Charlie, we say, mummy and daddy, we love me so much, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you,” Chris Gard said. “Sweet dreams baby, sleep tight our beautiful little boy. We love you.”


Supporters cried when they heard of the decision by Charlies’ parents. But amid the sadness, anger at what Chris Gard described as lost time.

“And our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment, whilst lengthy court battles have been fought,” Gard said. “Tragically, having had Charlie’s medical notes reviewed by independent experts, we now know had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal healthy little boy.”

That’s a claim doctors denied. Great Ormond Street Hospital said it reached out worldwide for help with Charlie’s rare genetic condition but to no avail.  The baby could neither breathe nor swallow unaided.  He was paralyzed and brain damaged.

His case has gripped Britain, emotions running high, with staff at Great Ormond Street even receiving death threats. Charlie’s story also captured the attention of world leaders.  Along with Pope Francis in Rome, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted offers of help for the little boy.