Charlie Gard — the terminally ill 11-month-old boy at the center of legal dispute over treatment — died Friday, according to a family spokesperson.
“Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie,” his mother, Connie Yates, said in a statement to British media.
His passing comes a day after a British judge ruled Charlie be moved to hospice care, where he’d be taken off life support.
Charlie, who would’ve turned 1 next week, suffered from a genetic disorder his entire life that prevented him from breathing without a respirator.
Charlie Gard’s mother says hospital ‘denied us our final wish’
Yates and Charlie’s father, Chris Gard, were locked in a five-month legal battle with the hospital treating Charlie to have him moved to the U.S. for treatment.
They raised $ 1.76 million on GoFundMe as of Friday to bring Charlie stateside for medical assistance.
British doctors believed Charlie suffered too much brain damage, and further treatment would only prolong the inevitable.
Their pleas for help gained international attention, with both President Trump and Pope Francis offering support.
Charlie Gard to die in hospice care rather than home
His parents abandoned their legal battle Monday, opting to allow the hospital to take him off life support.
A British judge gave the parents and the facility, Great Ormond Street Hospital, until noon Thursday to agree on a plane for Charlie, a deadline they failed to meet.
His parents requested a week at home with Charlie before dying, with Yates saying the hospital “denied us our final wish” after the deadline passed.
“Everyone at Great Ormond Street Hospital sends their heartfelt condolences to Charlie’s parents and loved-ones at this very sad time,” the hospital said in a statement Friday.
Charlie Gard, hope, hate and us
Pope Francis weighed in on the boy’s death, saying, “I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May also expressed condolences for the family. “I am deeply saffened by the death of Charlie Gard. My thoughts and prayers with Charlie’s parents Chris and Connie at this difficult time,” she said.
Gard and Yates had struggled to get Charlie transported to the U.S., where they hoped his mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome could be treated by a doctor at Columbia University.
The doctor, Michio Hirano, had treated children suffering from neurological conditions similar to Charlie’s. He traveled to London earlier this month to assess the ailing tot, but failed to convince the hospital to release him.
After Charlie Gard, learning tough truths
U.S. lawmakers last week also tucked an amendment into a spending bill that would’ve given permanent residence status to Charlie and his parents so they could travel to the U.S. for treatments.
Had the amendment passed Congress, they still could’ve been blocked by British courts.
With News Wire Services
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