After a long and seemingly hopeless battle to fight for the life of their child, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, parents of Charlie Gard, are finding a glimmer of hope.
New York based Doctor Michio Hirano of Columbia University Medical Center has committed to visiting Charlie in the UK next week. The doctor specializes in mitochondrial diseases and genetic myopathies. He received his Masters Degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and his BA from Harvard College.
The London hospital that Gard is located at is known as one of the best children hospitals in the world. They believe that because Charlie cannot see, hear, move, swallow, or breathe on his own without life support, he should be allowed to die in peace.
The hospital was recorded saying, “A world where only parents speak and decide for children and where children have no separate identity or rights and no court to hear and protect them is far from the world in which [Great Ormond Street Hospital] treats its child patients.”
The child’s parents do not want to give up quite yet, however. The family has been in a long court battle over whether or not to try an experimental treatment.
Charlie’s parents have advocated for treatment, knowing that treatment for mitochondrial depletion syndrome has a 10 percent chance of improving his quality of life. They have gained international attention from people all over the world, including President Donald Trump and Pope Francis.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates left a British courtroom on Thursday after arguing with the judge, but nothing productive seemed to have come from it. However, High Court Judge Nicholas Francis said that with the news of the doctor coming, he is more “open-minded about the evidence.”
Dr. Hirano has treated similar cases. He hopes to oversee a trial for Charlie to undergo nucleoside bypass therapy. As soon as he arrives in the UK he will meet with Charlie’s immediate care team and assess the situation. Could this be the break that Charlie’s parents are searching for?