US President Donald Trump has made an eleventh-hour intervention in the case of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard by offering help to save him. Speaking on Twitter, Mr Trump said:
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
July 3, 2017
It comes as Chris Gard and Connie Yates are spending the last days of their 10-month-old son’s life with him, after being given more time before his life-support is turned off. Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, is being cared for at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). The little boy has been at the centre of a lengthy legal battle between his parents, who wanted him to undergo a therapy trial in the US, and specialists at the hospital who said the treatment was experimental and would not help. Following Mr Trump’s tweet, Theresa May’s official spokesman said that the Prime Ministers thoughts are with Charlie and his family but declined to comment on Mr Trump’s comment. The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: “This is a very sensitive case. I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to talk about it here at this point other than to say our thoughts are with him and his family.”
Over the weekend, Pope Francis also weighed in:
Pope Francis [said] through Vatican spokesman Greg Burke that he is following the situation of the 10-month-old baby in London, and assuring his “closeness to his parents.” He also assured his prayers, and expressed his wish that the parents’ “desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end” would be respected. Charlie was born last August with an extremely rare, fatal condition called encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, or MDDS. The boy has severe brain damage, is unable to breathe on his own, and experiences frequent seizures.
Pray for all concerned!
UPDATE: Rome’s Vatican-owned hospital is now offering to intervene. From ANSA:
The president of Rome’s Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù Hospital, Mariella Enoc, said Monday she has asked her health director to ask London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital if terminally ill 11-month-old Charlie Gard can be moved there. “We know that it is a desperate case and that there are no effective therapies,” Enoc said, adding “we are close to the parents in prayer and, if this is their desire, willing to take their child, for the time he has left to live.”