NRL News

Charlie’s parents cease legal battle to have their son transferred to US for experimental therapy

by | Jul 24, 2017

“We are sorry we could not save you,” Connie says

Tells court delay meant the chance of treatment working was lost

By Dave Andrusko

The lawyer for Connie Yates and Chris Gard said this morning that the case of their desperately ill son Charlie was “worthy of a Greek tragedy.” Only there was no deus ex machina to provide a life-affirming ending for the little boy who is just shy of one year old.

This morning in the courtroom of Justice Nicholas Francis, Connie said, “This hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. Following [the] most recent MRI scan we’ve decided to let our son go.”

But her statement, while gracious to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London, could not hide their bitterness that GOSH had fought their five-month-long battle to secure outside help for Charlie.

According to the Mirror, Connie went on to say

“The prospect of improvement now too low. The deterioration in his muscles means there is no way back.

“Treatment is now not in Charlie’s best interests and we will let our little boy go…”

“We only wanted to give him a chance of life,” Connie said, as she wept. “We are sorry we could not save you.”

Grant Armstrong, the couple’s attorney, said that Charlie’s parents were extremely distressed by the results of the latest tests.

Armstrong said that “Dark days lie ahead for these parents,” the Mirror’s Kara O’Neill reported

“The parents wish to treasure their remaining time with Charlie, however short that may be.

“For Charlie it is too late. The damage has been done.”

Mr. Armstrong said Connie and Chris believe they ought to have been trusted with the decision based on the best scientific rationale and that they recognise the case has caused controversy.

They believe Charlie waited patiently for his right to be treated, but the delay meant the chance of treatment work was lost.

Mr. Armstrong invited the judge to think about whether parents’ power in this situation should be increased and that after a mitochondrial disease diagnosis, the earliest possible treatment should take place.


“They will continue mediation discussions with Great Ormond Street Hospital,” O’Neill reported.

In addition, according to the BBC

Gard and Yates will use the £1.3 million they raised for Charlie’s treatment to establish a foundation, the BBC reports, to make sure Charlie’s voice “continues to be heard.”

The case took on international significance as Chris and Connie took Charlie’s case to three courts, all of whom sided with GOSH’s conclusion that Charlie should be “allowed to die with dignity.” President Trump and Pope Francis tweeted their support for the parents.

Today’s decision by the parents came just prior to what was scheduled to be Justice Francis’ consideration of what new information had been gleaned since last week when famed American neurologist Michio Hirano examined Charlie’s medical record and most recent brain scan. What Dr. Hirano may have told the parents was not revealed, at least not in today’s initial newspaper accounts.


Categories: Infants