The parents of Charlie Gard have said they believe their son could have lived a normal life, had he received treatment sooner.
Connie Yates and Chris Yates explained their decision to end their legal battle to take their baby, who has a rare genetic disease, to the US for treatment in an emotional statement outside London’s High Court Monday afternoon.
“We've decided it's no longer in Charlie’s best interest to pursue treatment and we'll let our son go to be with the angels,” Mr Gard said.
Read the family’s full statement:
“Firstly, I would like to thank our legal team who have worked tirelessly on our behalf for free. And to the nurses and staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital who have cared for Charlie and kept him comfortable and stable for so long.
We would also like to thank everybody who supported us, including all the people here for us today.
This is one of the hardest things that we will ever have to say and we are about to do the hardest thing that we'll ever have to do, which is to let our beautiful little Charlie go.
Put simply, this is about a sweet, gorgeous innocent little boy who was born with a rare disease who had a real genuine chance at life and a family who loved him so very dearly. And that’s why we fought so hard for him.
We are truly devastated to say that following the most recent MRI scan of Charlie's muscles as requested in a recent MDT meeting by Dr Hirano.
As Charlie’s devoted and loving parents, we’ve decided that it is no longer in Charlie's best interest to pursue treatment and we will let our son go and be with the angels.
The American and Italian team were still willing to treat Charlie after seeing his recent MRI and EEG perform last week, but there is one simple reason why treatment cannot now go ahead and that is time. A whole lot of time has been wasted.
We are now in July and our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought.
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.
Despite his condition in January, Charlie’s muscles were in pretty good shape and far from showing irreversible catastrophic structural brain damage.
Dr Hirano and other experts say his brain scans and EEGs were those of a relatively normal child of his age.
We knew that ourselves because as his parents, we knew our son, which is why we continued fighting.
Charlie’s been left for his illness to deteriorate devastatingly to the point of no return.
This has also never been about ‘parents know best’.
All we wanted to do was take Charlie from one world-renowned hospital to another world-renowned hospital in the attempt to save his life and to be treated by the world leader in mitochondrial disease.
We'll have to live with the what-ifs which will haunt us for the rest of our lives.
Despite the way that our beautiful son has been spoken about sometimes, as if he is not worthy of a chance at life, our son is an absolute warrior and we could not be prouder of him and we will miss him terribly.
His body, heart and soul may soon be gone, but his spirit will live on for eternity and he will make a difference to people's lives for years to come. We will make sure of that.
We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie who unfortunately won't make his first birthday in just under two weeks' time.
And we will ask that our privacy is respected during this very difficult time.
To Charlie we say mummy and daddy, we love you so much. We always have and we always will and we are so sorry we couldn't save you.
Sweet dreams baby, sleep tight our beautiful little boy. We love you.”
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