INFANT TRANSFERRED TO HOSPICE SAME DAY AS COURT ORDER ISSUED
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 28, 2017) — Shortly after 1:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, the parents of a terminally-ill British infant announced that he has passed away, according to The UK Daily Mail.
The announcement came less than 36 hours after a judge issued an order that Charlie would be taken to a pediatric hospice center on an undisclosed date and time to live out his final hours.
Because hospice centers in the UK are reportedly not licensed to accommodate life support apparatus, the ventilator which is kept Charlie alive for months was expected to be removed upon his arrival at hospice.
The Daily Mail reported that Charlie was relocated on Thursday, apparently not long after the judge’s order was issued.
Charlie’s case rose to an international level approximately five weeks ago after his parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, lost a final appeal in the European Court of Appeals to allow them to take their son to the United States for an experimental treatment for his rare congenital condition known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.
Born on August 4 last year, Charlie appeared normal at first but showed signs of muscle weakness by the age of two months, after which he was diagnosed with the extremely rare condition which reportedly affects only 16 people in the world today.
On July 17, US neurologist and specialist in muscular disorders Dr. Michio Hirano flew to London after the same judge issuing the order on Thursday approved Hirano’s plan to examine Charlie and his medical records in consultation with his British physicians.
Prior to arriving at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), Hirano had testified to the British court via video link that he felt the experimental treatment would be “worth trying” on Charlie.
On Monday, Gard and Yates announced in court through their attorney that they had abandoned their appeal to have Charlie treated in the US. Some media outlets reported that despite Hirano’s optimism during his testimony to Judge Nicholas Francis on July 13, the subsequent brain scan and other medical records Hirano reviewed after arriving in London revealed that Charlie’s muscles were degenerated beyond the point of therapy.
Charlie’s parents believe that if their son had received the experimental treatment sooner, he “had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy,” according to The Mail.
Once abandoning their legal battle, Yates and Gard had expressed a desire to take Charlie home before having his life support removed, a plan to which the hospital would not agree.
On the GoFundMe website where Charlie’s parents raised more than $1.7 million for the anticipated therapeutic treatment months ago, Yates explained that she and Gard each carry a defective recessive gene, both of which were passed on to their son.
At 2:12 p.m. EDT, “#CharlieGard” is trending third on Twitter.
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