After a long, courageous legal battle with London’s High Court, the parents of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard withdrew their application to take the child to the United States for an experimental medical treatment. On Monday, the couple’s lawyer announced “the window of opportunity has been lost.”
Recent medical tests revealed the 11-month-old child has irreversible muscular damage, causing Attorney Grant Armstrong to tell London’s High Court it was too late for Charlie to receive treatment.
“It’s too late for Charlie,” Armstrong said. “The damage has been done.”
Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, cried in the courtroom as the lawyer announced the news. This court date was supposed to be their last bid to seek permission to take their child to the U.S. for treatment.
“As Charlie’s devoted and loving parents we have decided that it’s no longer in Charlie’s best interests to pursue treatment and we will let our son go and be with the angels,” Yates said in court.
The couple was expected to present new evidence in court on Monday, but instead they arrived in court to say the dragged out case has wasted “time. A whole lot of wasted time.”
“Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy,” Yates said, referring to the recent medical test that ultimately led to the couple’s decision to withdraw.
“I only wanted to give him a chance at life,” Yates said. “We will always know in our hearts that we did the very best for Charlie and I hope that he is proud of us for fighting in his corner.”
Armstrong said the appeal withdrawal is “worthy of a Greek tragedy” and the couple now wishes “to spend the maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie.” Private discussions will be held regarding when Charlie’s life support will be switched off.