The mother of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard spoke out Friday morning during an appearance on Good Morning Britain. Connie Yates described trying to save her son and called the situation an “absolute living hell.”
British authorities issued a court ruling stating that the 11-month-old could be taken off life support last week. His parents have been trying to get him to the United States to undergo an experimental treatment, but the hospital in London refused to release him.
“There is potential for him to be a completely normal boy,” Yates said Friday. “But we don’t know — because you just don’t know until you try.”
Charlie was born with a rare genetic disorder called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which causes muscle and organ dysfunction and cerebral disorders. As a result, Charlie is unable to eat, breathe or move his limbs on his own.
His parents wanted to take him to the U.S. for a treatment known as nucleoside bypass therapy after multiple treatments in London had no effect. Charlie’s parents’ case made it all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, who ultimately ruled that the treatment would not be the best course of action and that Charlie’s life support could be removed. They also denied the request to travel for the treatment.
In a statement, the court said the experimental therapy “would be of no effective benefit.” Charlie’s parents, however, disagreed.
“There’s further scientific research that this medication would work for Charlie,” Yates told Good Morning Britain. “There is now five doctors who agree with us, two of them are in England, one is in Spain, one is in Italy and one is in America. They all specialize in this particular disease, among others. But, you know, the rare forms.”
People far and wide have come to throw their support behind the family. A hospital in New York City offered to treat Charlie if he could get to the U.S. New York Presbyterian and Columbia University Irving Medical Center said Thursday they would “admit and evaluate Charlie, provided that arrangements are made to safely transfer him to our facility, legal hurdles are cleared and we receive emergency approval from the FDA for an experimental treatment as appropriate.”
President Donald Trump also voiced his 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,” the president tweeted Monday.
Pope Francis offered to help the boy by issuing a Vatican passport to the family so he could be treated at a Vatican hospital.
“Charlie should get a chance to try these medications,” said Charlie’s parents on a GoFundMe page. “He literally has nothing to lose but potentially a healthier, happier life to gain.”