The parents of sick baby Charlie Gard are headed back to High Court on Monday following “new information” into the baby’s condition provided by researchers from the Vatican’s children’s hospital, reports Sky News.
Such “new information” comes on the heels of baby Charlie and his parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, receiving public support from Pope Francis and an offer from the Vatican’s children’s hospital to take in baby Charlie.
The Pope stated that Charlie’s parents’ “desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end will be respected” and issued a tweet about preserving all life.
To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 30, 2017
President Donald Trump also added pressure on the U.K. to support the parents’ will when he tweeted out America’s support for the family.
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017
The 11-month-old suffers from a rare mitochondrial disease for which there is no treatment in the U.K. The boy’s parents subsequently raised over $1.6 million for experimental treatment in the United States in an attempt to save their child’s life.
But Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, where Charlie is being treated, said the parents could not take their son for the treatment; instead, the baby must stay put in their hospital and be removed from life support so he can “die with dignity.” The High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights all sided with the doctors, effectively stripping Gard and Yates of their parental rights.
The parents protested outside of their son’s hospital on Sunday, speaking to a crowd of supporters and presenting a petition boasting 350,000 signatures which calls on doctors to allow them the freedom to bring their own child to the U.S.
“He’s our son, he’s our flesh and blood. We feel that it should be our right as parents to decide to give him a chance at life,” said Yates.
“There’s nothing to lose, he deserves this chance,” she added.
According to Charlie’s parents, the experimental treatment has “up to 10% chance of working” with “no known major side effects.” Gard and Yates also argue that their son, contrary to what his doctors say, has no “catastrophic brain damage.”
“He should have had this chance a long time ago now,” said Gard.
Baby Charlie was scheduled to have his life support removed last Friday, but the baby’s death was postponed after Gard and Yates made a gut-wrenching video pleading for more time with their son.