Home Pro-Life Fresh hope for Charlie Gard: US doctor promises to treat him

Fresh hope for Charlie Gard: US doctor promises to treat him

Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, flew to London for the crucial visit at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). Join today

He met with Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, and also examined the 11-month-old who remains on life support in the children’s ward.

The American doctor has waded into the saga as a last-ditch attempt to save the little boy’s life.

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So far three UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have all backed the hospital’s opinion that his life support should be switched off.

His parents are desperately fighting a legal battle to allow him to be taken to the US for experimental treatment.

Dr Hirano will spend time with the youngster and discuss his condition with doctors treating him and specialists.

He has been given an honorary contract giving him full access to Charlie’s medical records.

The doctor claims the therapy he is developing could improve the baby’s condition, and says there is between an 11 and 56 per cent chance it would help him.

Dr Hirano believes the nucleoside therapy could improve Charlie’s muscular strength and that there is a “small but significant” chance it would also help brain functions.

The court battle has raged over Charlie, who was born last August with rare genetic condition mitochondrial depletion syndrome, and is also brain damaged and has muscle weakness.

He has been the centre of a lengthy and costly legal battle after GOSH proposed switching off his life support, a decision backed by several judges.

Doctors at the hospital said in a statement: “His depletive genetic disorder leaves him with no muscle function at all now and deprived of his senses, unable to breath and, so far as can be discerned after many months of encephalopathy, without any awareness.

“At the moment, he is on a low dose of oral morphine.

“Despite all the advances in medical science made by GOSH and the other hospitals around the world, there remain some conditions that we cannot cure and we cannot ameliorate.

“It has been and remains the unanimous view of all of those caring for Charlie at Great Ormond Street that withdrawal of ventilation and palliative care are all that the hospital can offer him consistent with his welfare.

“That is because in the view of his treating team and all those from whom GOSH obtained second opinions, he has no quality of life and no real prospect of any quality of life.

“GOSH understands that the American professor who wishes to treat Charlie in America will be giving evidence to the Court by video link and looks forward to hearing what he has to say about the beneficial effect of NBT treatment on Charlie’s quality of life and awareness.”

The situation surrounding Charlie has grown more complex after the Pope and president Donald Trump also became involved.

Mr Trump tweeted: “If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the UK and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.”

And an unnamed US hospital has offered new experimental treatment for free, if Charlie is allowed to travel.

His parents, who have battled the courts every step of the way, previously said: “We are utterly heartbroken, spending our last precious hours with our baby boy.

“We’re not allowed to choose if our son lives and we’re not allowed to choose when or where Charlie dies.


“We, and most importantly Charlie, have been massively let down throughout this whole process.”

Charlie’s case has been publicised globally, with more than £1.3 million raised by the public to help with his treatment.

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