The expert keeps hope alive: “Charlie can be saved, here is how…”

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Charlie Gard

Charlie Gard’s mother has today claimed they have new evidence experimental drugs could save his life and said: ‘Hopefully we will have good news later’.

Connie Yates says five doctors from around the world now believe there is a one in ten chance of improving his symptoms if he takes new medication offered in America.

She says two children on ventilators with similar genetic illnesses are ‘living normal lives’ a year on and can even run and ride a bike.

She said today: ‘Charlie is not suffering. All we want is two to three months to know if it works. There is potential for him to be a completely normal boy but we don’t know – because you just don’t know until you try.’

Miss Yates and Charlie father’s Chris Gard have a meeting with Great Ormond Street bosses at 11am in the hope they will postpone switching off his life support.

They will present the new scientific research compiled by five experts – two from the UK, one from Spain, one from Italy and the US doctor who wanted to help him from day one.

Miss Yates told Good Morning Britain: ‘Suicide and euthanasia are both illegal in this country – how can ending Charlie’s life be legal when there’s a chance. It is in his best interests to be given a chance to live’.

Today US specialists in mitochondrial disease promised to ship the experimental drug to Britain and would even travel to London to advise his doctors.

And as the battle to save Charlie reaches crisis point Pope Francis may hand him a Vatican passport to allow him to fly to Italy for potentially life-saving treatment.

But MailOnline understands from several legal sources that this is unlikely to work because the Pope has no power over the English courts.

His mother Connie has said seeing Charlie stricken in hospital every day and wondering when his last moment would be was ‘absolute living hell’.

But said there had been a development in the situation.

She said: ‘There is new information. There’s further scientific research that this medication would work for Charlie. From the doctors, from the team of doctors who agree on this medication.’

She added: ‘There is now five doctors who agree with us, two of them are in England, one is in Spain, one is in Italy and one is in America. And they all specialise in this particular disease, among others, but you know, the rare forms. Some of them will be scientists, there’s one paediatric neurologist and another neurologist but they do scientific studies as well.’

She told Good Morning Britain: ‘He’s our own flesh and blood and we don’t even have a say in his life whatsoever.

‘We are not bad parents, we are there for him all the time, we are completely devoted to him and he’s not in pain and suffering, and I promise everyone I would not sit there and watch my son in pain and suffering, I couldn’t do it.’

Ms Yates said the Pope’s intervention came after she wrote a letter to him, although she did not receive a reply directly, but she did not write to Mr Trump.

She said: ‘It does give us a hope definitely, because there was no hope left. Charlie was going to die on Friday and, you saw the video we did, we were absolutely devastated.

‘We had no control over it, the way it was done.

‘And then it was going to be on the Monday instead but the I think the White House got involved over the weekend and then that changed things.’

Charlie is suffering from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage and no-one can be certain whether or not he feels pain, GOSH has said.

Successive legal attempts by Charlie’s parents failed as judges in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London ruled in favour of GOSH doctors, while the European Court of Human Rights declined to hear the couple’s appeal.

Charlie’s parents will meet doctors at GOSH later after they sent a letter outlining what Ms Yates said was ‘new information’ on the nucleoside treatment they are seeking for their son.

High Court judge Mr Justice Francis said the couple had, understandably, grasped at the possibility that the therapy might be ‘pioneering treatment’.

But he said it had never been tried on a patient with Charlie’s rare form of mitochondrial disease, there was ‘no evidence’ it could help him, and testing it on him would be ‘unknown territory’.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard have said Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has been holding meetings all week about turning off his life support – but not inviting them.

A family spokesman told MailOnline: ‘On rare occasions when Connie and Chris are invited in to meetings, they feel ambushed. They are called at very short notice, leaving no time for them to get a lawyer to accompany them’.

But Charlie’s future still looks bleak today with doctors refusing to let him leave the hospital – but Theresa May is set to be ambushed by Donald Trump in Hamburg today because he believes Charlie must have the chance to live.

Today Papal sources hope a passport could be the key to getting Charlie out of Great Ormond Street.

Pope Francis has taken a personal interest in the little boy’s tragic case and has tweeted about the sanctity of life and how it should not be ended prematurely.

His lawyers court rulings that have determined the 11-month-old’s life support should be switched off could be overcome by making the little boy a citizen of the Pope’s Vatican City.

It has emerged hours after Charlie’s parents released a tearful image inside the hospital chapel at Great Ormond Street Hospital, saying the space gave them peace and tranquility through their trials. 

According to the Sun, the Pope is looking at offering the passport to allow legal parameters to be overcome.

A source said: ‘It would be unprecedented if citizenship was granted to Charlie, but it is being investigated.

‘Legal parameters are preventing him from being moved and treated overseas. If that can be overcome, then so be it’.

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, added: ‘We are doing whatever we can.’

Connie and Chris claimed today that they are being kept in the dark, with hospital bosses having meetings without inviting them.

Last night Miss Yates said: ‘Doctors have kept us in the dark. We can only hope that various meetings they’ve been having, to which we have not been invited, are positive and that they will let us take Charlie to the US for treatment.’

A spokesman for the family added: ‘While meetings have been carrying on all week around them, doctors at the hospital have not thought to include them.

‘The way they are continually treated, as if their views as parents don’t matter, is heaping stress on them at a time when naturally they are already very distressed.’

The family have released photos of Charlie’s first haircut, done earlier this week. Miss Yates said: ‘Charlie’s beautiful hair was getting decidedly long. I always think it is a very poignant moment for any mum when her baby is old enough to have a first haircut.’

It came after the parents released an image inside the hospital’s chapel, about which Connie said: ‘Chris and I have gone through some dark moments and continue to go through every parent’s worst nightmare as Charlie’s life hangs in the balance.

‘When things simply get too much to bear, we find the beautiful chapel at the hospital a place of great peace and tranquility.’

St Christopher’s chapel, described by Oscar Wilde as ‘the most delightful private chapel in London’ provides sanctuary for staff, children and families as of some of the sickest children in the country.

A US hospital has offered to ship an experimental drug to the UK to help treat terminally-ill Charlie Gard.

The hospital – which cannot be named for legal reasons – also offered to admit the 11-month-old if ‘legal hurdles’ can be cleared.

The US hospital said that it would treat the boy with an experimental drug pending approval from government regulators, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

It said it has ‘agreed to admit and evaluate Charlie, provided that arrangements are made to safely transfer him to our facility, legal hurdles are cleared, and we receive emergency approval from the FDA for an experimental treatment as appropriate’.

It added: ‘Alternatively, if approved by the FDA, we will arrange shipment of the experimental drug to Great Ormond Street Hospital and advise their medical staff on administering it if they are willing to do so.’


Earlier this week, Pope Francis said he hopes doctors will allow the parents of 10-month-old Charlie Gard to ‘care for their child until the end’ and protesters gathered outside Buckingham Palace to protest against a court decision to allow the baby’s life support machine to be switched off.

In a statement today, the Vatican said: ‘The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the affair of little Charlie Gard and expresses his closeness to his parents.

‘He prays for them, hoping that their desire to accompany and care for their child until the end is not disregarded.’

Connie and Chris shared the picture as the Labour Party leader joined the debate on Charlie’s future, which still hangs in the balance.

Jeremy Corbyn has admitted he too would do ‘anything’ to save Charlie if it was his own son and said: ‘I feel absolutely for the parents’.

The Labour leader said Charlie’s parents are right to fight for their baby because ‘any parent would want their child to get the best possible treatment’.

But Mr Corbyn stopped short of calling for Great Ormond Street to let them take the ten-month-old to America.

He said: ‘All I can say is that any parent would feel for those parents and say if it was my child that was going through a terrible, terrible trauma like this, a life threatening trauma, you’d move might and main to get them the best treatment they can. I fully understand that’.

Charlie’s future looks increasingly bleak today with doctors refusing to let him leave the hospital and Theresa May and Boris Johnson deciding not to intervene.

And some medical experts have urged his parents to accept the difficult reality now facing them.

‘Any parent going through this would want their child to get the best possible treatment that could be found anywhere, and I think it is up to us to ensure they do get that best possible treatment.

‘It is difficult to judge what a medical, a medically qualified person, has assessed on the case, I haven’t seen that, I’m not medically qualified’.

Theresa May is braced for a grilling by Donald Trump on saving Charlie Gard.

The White House has requested a one-to-one meeting with the Prime Minister at the G20 gathering of world leaders in Hamburg.

The agenda for the hour-long meeting has not been released, but Downing Street is preparing for the Charlie case to come up.

President Trump has declared America’s staunch support for saving the desperately ill 11-month-old boy. His family say Mr Trump has ‘a very good understanding of the whole case’.

Yesterday it emerged the White House has been phoning the family and also the office of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

And the international tug-of-love over Charlie intensified as Italy also urged Britain to help save him.

The Italian Foreign Minister personally lobbied his counterpart Boris Johnson in a phone call between Rome and London.

It follows interventions by Pope Francis, who tweeted of the ‘duty to defend human life’, and the Vatican, which has offered the papal hospital in Rome to treat Charlie.

Last night a White House source said: ‘The President is deeply moved by the heartbreaking situation facing Charlie Gard and his parents.

‘Although the President himself has not spoken to the family, members of the administration, assisted by British officials, have done so.

‘President Trump has no desire to pressure the family in any way. However, he does want them to know that he is willing to provide assistance should they need any.

‘As a father and grandfather, President Trump understands the limitless love one has for a child and he wishes to be helpful to Charlie Gard and his family, as does Pope Francis and millions of families worldwide’.

Officials insist Mrs May cannot intervene in the case unless new evidence is produced to persuade Charlie’s doctors and the courts that treatment abroad offers a realistic prospect of improvement in his condition.

But the baby boy’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have steadfastly refused to give up hope

Miss Yates said: ‘The support from the Pope and the President has given us hope. They are traditional men who believe in the family.

‘They believe in our case and understand why we believe it is right to continue fighting so hard to save Charlie.’

But despite Mr Trump’s tweet on Monday that America would be ‘delighted’ to help Charlie, his future appeared bleak yesterday.

Mrs May told the Commons the matter was in the hands of Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie is in intensive care.

And the hospital, which won legal battles all the way to the Supreme Court to be allowed to remove his life-support, claimed its hands were tied by the courts.


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