Charlie Gard’s parents said Monday that Gard could have lived and improved with treatment if the courts had not intervened and wasted time.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates broke down in tears at the U.K. High Court upon announcing their decision to withdraw their appeal for their son’s treatment because he no longer stood a chance of improvement. Yates said they made Monday’s decision out of love for Gard, given the international medical team’s finding that Gard had suffered severe, irreversible tissue damage over the course of the court battle for his life, according to Fox News.
“As Charlie’s devoted and loving parents we have decided that it’s no longer in Charlie’s best interests to pursue treatment, and we will let our son go and be with the angels,” Yates told the court.
However, had it not been for the intervention of the courts and their reticence to allow Gard to be treated when medical experts first said he had a chance, the outcome would have been different, according to Yates.
She said that the court robbed Gard of “time. A whole lot of wasted time.”
“Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy,” Yates said.
The Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), where Gard has been since October, maintained its claim that Gard has been suffering and that his only option was to die. Yates refuted that claim.
“There has never been any proof that he was and we still don’t think that he’s in pain or suffering to this day,” Yates said. “Having said that, we have decided to let our son go and that’s for one reason and one reason only. It is because the prospect of improvement is unfortunately now too low for Charlie.”
GOSH released a statement to the court Monday, defending its position on Gard’s case and making an offer to provide Gard’s parents with the same level of treatment it offered Gard.
“Whilst GOSH has striven to work with them throughout, Charlie’s needs have taken priority,” the statement read. “It is greatly hoped that in the days ahead, it will be possible to extend to his parents the same quality of care with which Charlie has been provided and to concentrate on the family as a whole.”
“Since nucleoside treatment is not invasive when added to food and there is no evidence that it has caused significant damage to the TK2 deficient patients to whom it has been administered, they have, rightly and urgently, sought to know: Why not give Charlie that chance? What does he have to lose? They feel now, and perhaps will feel for some long time to come, that if only GOSH had treated Charlie months ago, they would have been spared the impossible decision they make now,” the statement added.
GOSH also claimed that, despite the scans of Gard’s brain, the baby had irreversible brain damage, a claim refuted by Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University.
“GOSH treats patients and not scans,” the hospital’s statement read.
Yates said that she and Chris Gard, while heartbroken, do not regret fighting to save their child’s life.
“I only wanted to give him a chance at life,” Yates said. “We will always know in our hearts that we did the very best for Charlie and I hope that he is proud of us for fighting his corner.”
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