US President Donald Trump has offered his help and support to Charlie Gard, a ten-month-old terminally ill baby who suffers from brain damage and mitochondrial depletion syndrome. Charlie's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard were hoping to bring their son to the US for experimental treatment, but judges at the European Court of Human Rights blocked their plan last week, saying that treatment on the little boy would only result in "significant harm".
President Trump has taken to Twitter to write: "If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so." The father-of-five's tweet came shortly after the Pope released a statement via the Vatican, also showing his support for the Gard family. The religious leader said he had been following Charlie's case with "affection and sadness" and that he is praying that Charlie's parents' wish "to accompany and treat their child until the end is not neglected".
Donald Trump and his youngest son, Barron
The little boy has been on life support at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. He has been in intensive care since October, and his doctors say he cannot move, hear, cry or swallow, and that his lungs only move because he is on a machine. Specialists have stated that Charlie has no chance of survival.
Last week, Charlie's parents lost an appeal in the European Court of Human Rights to take their son to the US for potentially life-saving treatment. Responding to the judgment, a spokesperson for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS foundation trust said: "Our thoughts are with Charlie's parents on receipt of this news that we know will be very distressing for them. Today's 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."