Donations pour in for Charlie Gard despite court decision

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donations are continuing to pour in to a couple who want to fly their terminally ill baby son to the United States for treatment even though judges have dashed their hopes of taking him there.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates, who are in their 30s, want 10-month-old Charlie Gard, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, to undergo a therapy trial in America.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates, the parents of eight-month-old Charlie Gard

Chris Gard and Connie Yates, the parents of eight-month-old Charlie Gard

They had asked European court judges in Strasbourg, France, to consider their claims after judges in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street doctors, who said life-support treatment should stop.

But Strasbourg judges on Tuesday refused to intervene.

However nearly £500 has been donated since then to a GoFundMe website - £140 in the last hour - which in four months has raised nearly £1.4m to pay for treatment in the US.

One well-wisher donated £100 today and posted a message to Charlie’s parents saying: “I pray God changes the hearts of the doctors to allow Charlie to get the care he needs and deserves.”

Another said: “Sorry to put this bluntly but please do not allow for a bunch of bureaucrats to decide upon your baby’s fate.”

Charlie cannot cry and is deaf, and his doctors say he has no spontaneous movement and is likely to experience pain. Babies with the condition usually live only a few months without life support.

Great Ormond Street said the European court decision marked the end of a “difficult process”. But a spokeswoman said there would be “no rush” to change Charlie’s care.

She said: “(The) decision by the European Court of Human Rights marks the end of what has been a very difficult process and our priority is to provide every possible support to Charlie’s parents as we prepare for the next steps.

“There will be no rush by Great Ormond Street Hospital to change Charlie’s care and any future treatment plans will involve careful planning and discussion.”

A GoFundMe spokesman said officials will have discussions with Charlie’s parents about what will happen to money raised if life-support treatment is withdrawn.

He said: “When the parents are ready to discuss the next steps, our team will be on hand to help.”

In a post on the website, which has since been taken down Charlie’s mother said that if the journey to the US could not take place they would set up a charity for mitochondrial depletion syndromes.

She added: “We’d like to save other babies and children because these medications have been proven to work and we honestly have so much belief in them.

“If Charlie doesn’t get this chance, we will make sure that other innocent babies and children will be saved.

“We would like some of it to go to research at the specific hospital that is willing to treat Charlie, and the rest will be available to help other families to get the medication that their children desperately need.”

European court judges announced their decision in a statement after analysing written arguments from lawyers representing Charlie’s parents.

Ms Yates told Sky News the European court ruling was “upsetting”.

A European court spokeswoman said in the statement that judges had “endorsed in substance” the approach of UK judges. Lawyers representing Charlie’s parents argued that the couple’s human rights and Charlie’s human rights were being undermined.