Chris Gard and Connie Yates have given up on their fight to have their baby spend his last days at home. On Monday, after tests revealed the treatment had been delayed for too long, the parents announced that they would no longer be seeking experimental treatment for their little boy, who is almost a year old.
The defeated couple also gave in on taking Charlie Home, reports The Guardian. On Wednesday afternoon, the family’s lawyer, Grant Armstrong, said the parents have agreed to take Charlie to a hospice instead. The lawyer also told the court that the couple has found a doctor willing to provide hospice care. The lawyer added that the couple had procured a ventilator from a private company, and nurses are offering to care for Charlie in his last days.
“Several of the nurses at Great Ormond Street have volunteered to assist in the care of Charlie,” he said.
The couple would like to keep their child alive for a week, reports People Magazine. However, the hospital is objecting to this. The lawyer for Great Ormond Street Hospital, Katie Gollop QC, agreed that a hospice might be a more viable option than the couple’s home, but only to keep Charlie alive for a few hours before removing his ventilator says The Guardian.
This defeat comes as one in a long series of losses for the couple, who have been fighting to get Charlie treatment for his mitochondrial disorder since last January. The couple took their case all the way to the highest court before finally being shot down. A glimmer of hope emerged last week when American neurologist, Michio Hirano, came to examine Charlie. However, tests revealed that the hospital had delayed treatment long enough that it could no longer be effective.
Greg Burke, the Holy See press officer, released a statement from the Vatican on Tuesday indicating Pope Francis’ support for the couple in their hard time. They certainly will need it, as they mourn the loss of their child.
“Pope Francis is praying for Charlie and his parents and feels especially close to them at this time of immense suffering. The Holy Father asks that we join in prayer, that they may find God’s consolation and love,” said Burke.
Please continue to pray for this family. The last year of this couple’s life has been incredibly stressful, and in the months to come, they will have to bear the weight of their sorrow. If you would like to know more about Charlie Gard, we have a story about why they wanted to bring him home.