USA doctor meets with specialists treating Charlie Gard

Faith Castro
July 17, 2017

They boy's parents are fighting an emotional legal battle with Britain's most famous children's hospital over whether trying an experimental treatment is in Charlie's best interest.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street argue life support should be withdrawn, saying that Charlie's condition - a form of mitochondrial disease which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage - would affect his quality of life.

Columbia University medical school specialist Michio Hurano on Monday examined Charlie Gard with British colleagues ahead of a High Court hearing on new experimental treatment and a possible move to the USA for the terminally ill 11-month-old British boy, whose Great Ormond Street doctors are poised to pull the plug after earlier British and European court rulings.

Earlier this month New-York Presybterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center offered to admit Charlie and to provide him with experimental treatment, according to the Washington Post.

His anguished parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, are desperate for the trial to go ahead and have raised funds to bring him to the US.

Great Ormond Street Hospital requested a new hearing after the New York-based neurologist claimed his treatment could now have a better chance of working.

They erupted with fury as Great Ormond Street doctors tried to ban them from key meetings discussing the ill tot's health and care. After much debate in court on Friday over whether Charlie's parents will be present for this, the Judge announced that Yates will be allowed to attend.

     FIGHTING FOR LIFE Charlie Gard was born with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome
PA FIGHTING FOR LIFE Charlie Gard was born with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome

In a statement, the London hospital said it was "right to try" the experimental treatment prepared for Charlie by "two worldwide hospitals".

The parents have previously lost battles against the hospital in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London over Charlie's treatment.

But the couple say there is new evidence and want Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of their case.

Connie Yates will join United States neurosurgeon Michio Hirano and other medical experts at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.

They have also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene. The hospital says Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Connie and Charlie's dad Chris, of Bedfont, West London, want a judge to rule the 11-month-old can have experimental treatment in the US.

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