Thousands of people took to social media to send their condolences to Charlie Gard's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, following the death of their "beautiful little boy" on Friday. Among them were stars who had donated to Charlie's GoFundMe page, and others who had been following his court case. Pope Francis, who had offered to have Charlie treated in the Vatican's hospital, led the tributes on Twitter, writing: "I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him."
Sam Faiers, who donated to Charlie's cause, shared a photo of the little boy on Twitter and wrote: "Heartbreaking rest in peace beautiful Charlie, you little soldier. You have touched millions of people." Boxer Frank Bruno sent condolences to Chris and Connie, writing: "My thoughts are with the family of #CharlieGard... this has been a very difficult journey and no one will hurt more than his parents." Giovanna Fletcher, who shares two sons with her husband Tom Fletcher, also tweeted: "My thoughts are with Connie & Chris on the loss of their gorgeous Charlie. You did all you could for your brave little man. xx."
Charlie's parents announced the sad news on Friday
Katie Piper, who is expecting her second baby, shared a photo of Charlie, who suffered from mitochondrial depletion syndrome. She wrote on Instagram: "Rest in Peace #charliegard." Piers Morgan tweeted: "RIP Charlie Gard. A brave little boy who touched the world." Abbey Clancy also wrote: "Charlie Gard rest in peace baby angel." Sam Bailey also used Twitter to express her thoughts, posting: "RIP LITTLE CHARLIE GARD!!! Heaven has gained the most precious little prince xx thoughts to all his family xxx."
On Friday evening, Charlie's parents released a statement, confirming that their little boy had passed away, one week before his first birthday. His mother Connie said: "Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie." On his official Instagram page, 'charliesfight', representatives for the family shared a picture of the doting parents holding their son's hand and wrote: "It's with great sadness that we have to inform you that Charlie passed away earlier this afternoon. Connie has released a brief statement: 'Our beautiful, little boy has gone. We are so proud of you, Charlie.' We ask that everyone respects the family's privacy at this difficult time, but we would all like to say a huge thank you to everyone for your continued support."
On Thursday, a High Court justice ruled the terminally ill baby boy would be moved from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where he had been receiving treatment, to a hospice. His life support was to be withdrawn soon after, meaning Charlie would "inevitably" die within a short time, the court heard. Mr Justice Francis made the order on Thursday afternoon, a few hours after the deadline passed for Charlie's end-of-life plan. He added that no details about when he would be moved and where could be made public.