When a newborn baby is fighting for his life, his parents are fighting even harder to do everything in their power to keep him alive. That is the case with Charlie Gard, an eight-month-old infant, and his parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates.
Charlie was born on August 4, 2016, and since then, he has been diagnosed with “a disorder called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which affects the genetic building blocks that give energy to cells,” according to BBC. Only 16 people in the world have been diagnosed with this illness. The baby is suffering from irreversible brain damage and he cannot even move, according to his doctors at Great Ormond Street, a hospital in London.
Because of the severity of this disorder, Charlie’s doctors were able to move the baby into palliative care back in April. Essentially, they were able to withdraw the infant from life support. Devastated by the news that their poor baby was not receiving enough medical attention to keep him alive, the parents struck back.
Gard and Yates had plans to “apply to the Appeal Court to reexamine the decision” with the hopes that something more could be done to save Charlie’s life. They had intentions of bringing their son to the United States, where he could receive “experimental treatment but the court found it was ‘very unlikely’ the therapy would improve his condition,” according to The Guardian.
According to one of the lawyers representing the Great Ormond Street Hospital, “This is not pioneering or life-sustaining treatment, but a purely experimental process with no real prospect of improving Charlie’s condition or quality of life.” Yet, as hopeful parents with immense love for their infant son, they are willing to try this treatment to save Charlie.
“Charlie is still strong and stable. He is growing more beautiful by the day and we knew we couldn’t just give up on him,” Yates said, according to BBC.
Even despite the major expenses that it would cost to fly from London to the United States and pay for the treatment, the family has not given up hope. “We’re praying that he gets his chance,” Gard and Yates said on their GoFundMe page, which they created to offset the costs.
After over 80,000 people donated money to the cause, the parents were able to raise over £1.2 m, which equals over $1.5 m. Gard and Yates are incredibly grateful for the kind donations from so many people in support of their baby boy, according to Evening Standard.
On their GoFundMe, they stated, “Thank you to everyone who has supported us, you have put our faith back in humanity.” They continued to note that “We will always be eternally grateful whatever the outcome for Charlie.”
If the couple is not victorious in their court case to repeal the palliative care sentencing, they will not be able to use all the money they earned for Charlie’s treatment, without which he could die. According to The Guardian, “The parents have indicated previously that if they lost the case they might set up a charity for research into mitochondrial depletion syndrome with the money donated.”
Hopefully, with the kind donations of thousands of people, a positive decision from the courts, and a little bit of faith in humanity, Charlie will be able to get the medical attention he needs to live a long and healthy life.
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