Charlie Gard's Parents Fight to Bring Terminally Ill Son Home: Our 'Last Wish Is That Charlie Dies at Home'
Connie Yates returned to London’s High Court on Tuesday to request permission to bring her terminally ill son home to die
Connie Yates returned to London’s High Court on Tuesday to request permission for her and her partner, Chris Gard, to bring their terminally ill son, Charlie Gard, home to die — just one day after ending their legal fight over treatment of their 11-month-old son.
London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), where Charlie has been receiving treatment since October, argued that there are no doctors able to oversee Charlie’s death at home and expressed concerns about getting the proper medical equipment into the couple’s home.
The parents’ lawyer, Grant Armstrong, told Judge Nicholas Francis that his clients’ “last wish is that Charlie dies at home.”
“The parents wish for a few days of tranquillity outside of a hospital setting,” he said. “The parents had hoped that Great Ormond Street would work with them.”
Yates added: “We promised Charlie every day we would take him home. It seems really upsetting after everything we’ve been through to deny us this.”
Lawyers for GOSH told Judge Francis they “would like to be able to fulfill the parents’ wishes… if it is safe and practicable and in Charlie’s best interests.” GOSH doctors argued that moving Charlie to a hospice would be the best option.
The court has given the family until noon on Wednesday to find a medical practitioner that is prepared to take up the couple’s case.
Charlie, who was born on August 4, 2016, has a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. He is currently on life support and unable to move his limbs or eat or breathe without assistance. His parents wanted to take him to the U.S. for nucleoside therapy. And after a lengthy legal battle, they made the decision to end their fight on Monday.
A lawyer representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates told the High Court that “time had run out” for Charlie after a U.S. doctor said it was too late to give him nucleoside therapy. The parents were given the test results from Charlie’s most recent scans on Friday.
“Charlie has suffered extensive muscular atrophy,” Armstrong said in court. “This is irreversible even with [nucleoside therapy]. Chance of improvement can’t now be delivered.”
Speaking in court on Monday, Yates said making the decision to “let him go” was the hardest thing she and her partner had done in their lives, and that they still believed his condition could have improved with treatment had it been administered earlier.