Charlie Gard’s mother, Connie Yates, returned to court on Tuesday to ask that she be allowed to take her baby home to die.
The move came just one day after Yates announced that she and Charlie’s father, Chris Gard, will stop their fight to save their son’s life, saying in an emotional statement on Monday that it is now too late for experimental treatment to help the terminally ill child.
An attorney for Yates and Gard said that the parents are returning to court to recognize their final wish for Charlie, who suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome: to see him die at home, a request they have repeatedly made during their months-long legal battle with Great Ormond Street Hospital, the hospital where Charlie has been receiving treatment.
“We struggle with the difficulties the hospital has placed in the way of the parents’ wish to have a period of time, probably a relatively short period of time … before the final act in Charlie’s short life,” Yates’ attorney Grant Armstrong said.
“We are so sorry we couldn't save you….Sleep tight our beautiful little boy,” Charlie Gard’s father says tearfully to end press conference pic.twitter.com/JWshAsLJS9
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 24, 2017
Katie Gollop, an attorney for Great Ormond Street Hospital, said that the parents had refused offers to mediate the issue over the the weekend, but that the hospital is willing to comply if it “is practical, possible and safe, and in Charlie’s interests so that he comes to no harm.”
The hospital has suggested hospice instead of home care, saying that life support — particularly forced ventilation — would be difficult at the home shared by Yates and Gard.
Reuters reported that the hospital presented a document in court on Tuesday that said the ventilation system wouldn’t fit through the front door of the house.
“The care plan must be safe, it must spare Charlie all pain and it must protect his dignity. At the same time, the plan must honour his parents’ wishes about two matters in particular namely the time and place of his passing,” the document read. “Charlie is a child who requires highly specialised treatment. His care cannot be simplified. It must be provided in a specialist setting by specialists.”
Judge Nicholas Francis said he would rule on the matter if needed, but would like to see the two parties come to an agreement instead. The spat is the latest legal drama to unfold in a heartbreaking case that has made international headlines.
The family previously wanted to take Gard to the U.S. for experimental treatment, but abandoned that quest after American neurologist Dr. Michio Hirano concluded that it was “too late” to try an experimental treatment that months ago could have saved the child’s life.
As Faithwire previously reported, Yates and Gard, released an emotional statement on Monday morning, blaming “wasted time” for their tragic decision to stop their fight for Charlie’s life. The hospital had opposed efforts to move Charlie to the U.S. for the treatment.
The grieving parents made it no secret that they blame extensive delays as the family embarked in a months-long legal battle with the hospital caring for Charlie in their son’s inability to heal. They wrote, “Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy.”
This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.