A spokesperson for the parents of terminally ill British infant Charlie Gard has reported that their “beautiful boy” has died. Gard, 11 months-old, and his parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, had been at the center of a months-long legal debate regarding parental rights and human life. They had been denied the chance to take him to the U.S. for experimental treatment as well as their wish to spend a week with him in hospice care at home.
The case garnered international attention and support, with President Donald Trump and Pope Francis both weighing in via twitter in support of the boy and his parents this month. The pediatric hospital Bambino Ges√π in Rome, known as “the pope’s hospital,” offered to care for the boy. He suffered from a rare mitochondrial disease which paralyzes muscles and causes brain damage. He was believed to be only one of 16 sufferers in the world.
Born on August 4 of last year, Gard’s condition was discovered in October and he was admitted to the Great Ormund Street Hospital (GOSH). His life support was recommended to be withdrawn in April, and his parents subsequently took the case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. All courts which reviewed the case upheld the GOSH doctors’ decision.