Charlie Gard's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard have released a heartbreaking new photo of their baby boy, just hours after a high court judge ruled that doctors can withdraw Charlie's life support. The eight-month-old can be seen clutching onto a medallion of St Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes and desperate situations, in the picture uploaded to Instagram with the caption: "No words....just devastation!"
On Tuesday, Charlie's parents lost their case against Great Ormond Street Hospital. In his judgement, Mr Justice Francis said: "It is with the heaviest of hearts but with complete conviction for Charlie's best interests that I find it is in Charlie's best interests that I accede to these applications and rule that GOSH may lawfully withdraw all treatment save for palliative care to permit Charlie to die with dignity."
Charlie's parents now have three weeks to decide whether they will appeal against the high court's decision, their solicitor said. A family friend told the Daily Mail: "They will fight to the bitter end, they won't give up. They love that little boy and while there's still some hope they will carry on."
Charlie suffers from a devastating disease called mitochondrial depletion syndrome; his parents are both carriers of a faulty gene. They launched an appeal two months ago with the aim of raising £1.3m to bring Charlie to a hospital in the US for a treatment trial. Mr Justice Francis said no one with Charlie's condition had ever been treated with the therapy proposed. The US doctor, who agreed to treat Charlie, has also acknowledged that it is "very unlikely" the baby boy would improve with that treatment.
His parents have three weeks to decide whether they will appeal against the high court's decision
Members of the public from around the world are still donating to the Go Fund Me page, despite the high court's ruling. Celebrities including Tamara Ecclestone, Sam Faiers and Rebekah Vardy were among the first to donate.
Connie has previously spoken about her legal fight to keep her son alive. "We've got the money, we've got our passports, we've got the Dr who's got the medication… all you need is the chance. We won't give up on you because you have a rare disease, it's not your fault, you shouldn't have to die, I'm sorry this has happened to you, I wish I could take your place!! We love you! We will fight for you until the very end and we'll pray that we'll get to hold your warm hand forever."