The 11-month-old baby Charlie Gard, who hit the headlines over tragic legal battles over his care, has died. A family spokesman has confirmed his death releasing a statement. The little boy suffered from a rare genetic condition which caused progressive brain damage and muscle weakness. In a statement issued on Friday evening, his mother Connie Yates said: "Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie."
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 His life support was to be withdrawn soon after, meaning Charlie would "inevitably" die within a short time, the court heard.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 Frances 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.
His mother, Connie Yates, campaigned tirelessly for treatment she hoped would be life-saving
The baby's parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates were hoping to bring their son home, but GOSH said that moving Charlie and his life-support equipment would not be practical. They suggested taking Charlie to a hospice, which Chris and Connie eventually agreed to. However, the parents were hoping to spend days with their son, who turns one next week, at the hospice – and not hours. They had found a medical team who were willing to care for Charlie at the hospice, some of whom included nurses at GOSH but the central London hospital said it was not in the baby's interests to spend a long period of time in a hospice.
Earlier this week, the Gard family released a heartbreaking statement in which they apologised to their son who suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome. The rare genetic condition causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. Chris read the statement, saying: "This is one of the hardest things that we will ever have to say and we are about to do the hardest thing that we'll ever have to do, which is to let our beautiful little Charlie go. As Charlie's devoted and loving parents, we've decided that it is no longer in Charlie's best interest to pursue treatment and we will let our son go and be with the angels."
The couple's full statement is in the video above.