Earlier this week, world leaders spoke out to support Charlie Gard, and his parents’ fight to get him experimental treatment that could save his life. President Trump and Pope Francis offered their help via Twitter, leading to the Vatican’s pediatric hospital offering to take the infant and an unnamed American hospital offering to treat him for free.
However, on Wednesday, the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, told the Italian Foreign Minister, Angelino Alfano, that Italian Charlie cannot be moved for legal reasons. He also told Alfano that it is "right that decisions continued to be led by expert medical opinion, supported by the courts,” which is in line with what he calls Charlie's "best interests."
This comes shortly after Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "confident" that Great Ormond Street Hospital "have and always will consider any offers or new information that has come forward with consideration of the well-being of a desperately ill child.”
This statement from the foreign secretary seems to contradict that, but the Vatican hospital isn’t ready to give up. The Sun reports that Pope Francis’ spokesman, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the Vatican would “overcome” British legal rulings if possible. Unfortunately, at the moment, they are unable to help Charlie.
“Our medical director and our doctors are looking into what can be done but in our initial investigation we have been told by Great Ormond Street that for legal reasons he cannot be moved,” says Bambino Gesu president Mariella Enoc. “Nevertheless we will continue speaking to the family and our team here will carry on studying the case to see what can be done,”
Charlie’s mom, Connie Yates, hasn’t given up either. Rome’s Bambino Gesu hospital said she contacted them after her about their offer to care for her son,
“Charlie’s mother called us after hearing about our offer. She is a very determined woman and a very decisive woman who doesn’t want to give up in the face of anything,” shared Enoc.
A family spokesman revealed, “the White House has been in talks with the parents, the American doctor who wants to treat Charlie, GOSH, the UK Government, and the Department of Health.” He adds, “President Trump has a very good understanding of the whole case, and he did not make an off the cuff tweet.”
Connie also spoke out about how the family feels about the Pope and President Trump’s intervention: “The support from the Pope and the President has given us hope. They are traditional men who believe in the family.
She continued, “They believe in our case and understand why we believe it is right to continue fighting so hard to save Charlie.”
In the face of Great Ormond’s Street Hospital’s continued refusal to let Charlie be move, the couple are receiving encouragement from supporters on Twitter. Including a tweet from American singer Cher, who tweeted, “Institutions have no right 2flip switch on beloved baby. If USA can save precious Charlie Gard… send him 2 us [sic].”
Supporters in England are also planning a protest for July 6th in London in what may be a last minute show of support for the 11-month-old
Please continue to pray for Charlie, his family, and that the hospital administrators hearts be softened.