What is Charlie Gard's condition, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (or MDDS)?

Randall Craig
July 26, 2017

The parents of "Little Charlie", who has a rare degenerative disease, have fought court battles for seven months hoping to defeat London's Great Ormond Street Hospital's refusal to let them take their baby to the USA for other treatment.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard say it is their final wish for their son to return home to die in the cot he has never slept in.

Grant Armstrong, the barrister for the parents, accused Great Ormond Street Hospital of standing in the way of their final wish to take Charlie - who has a rare genetic condition - home.

The little boy's mother, Connie Yates, was back in court on Tuesday - a day after she and partner Chris Yates abandoned legal action to continue treatment for the youngster - as the couple tried to get Charlie back to the family home before he dies.

The parents reportedly spoke with Great Ormond Street Hospital about taking their baby home, but they hit "obstacles", according to the Associated Press.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis are among many people not directly involved who have weighed in with views.

Legal aid restrictions can not have been meant to leave the parents of terminally ill children without legal representation, a High Court Judge has declared.

A judge will make a decision tomorrow on whether to allow Charlie Gard's parents to take him home to die. A special area would be made available to them with the option for friends and family to visit. Specialists at GOSH said the therapy proposed by a doctor in America is experimental and would not help. The experts recommended taking him off life support.


Why did Charlie's parents seek legal intervention?

"When the hospital was informed that the Professor had new laboratory findings causing him to believe NBT would be more beneficial to Charlie than he had previously opined, GOSH's hope for Charlie and his parents was that that optimism would be confirmed", said the GOSH statement. We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won't make his first birthday in just under two weeks' time, and we will ask our privacy is respected at this very hard time.

In an emotional statement, the couple said the new scans showed it was now "too late" for Charlie to benefit from nucleoside therapy and said they would allow his ventilator to be removed "before his first birthday" so he could "slip away" and "be with the angels".

"Charlie is a child who requires highly specialised treatment".

USA -based anti-abortion activists flew to London to support Charlie's parents, and the case became a flashpoint for opposing views on health care funding, medical intervention, the role of the state and the rights of the child.

The document said the invasive ventilation Charlie required was only provided in a hospital setting.

Ms Yates and her partner Chris withdrew their bid to take their terminally ill baby to the United States for experimental therapy on Monday, saying tests had shown the window of opportunity to help their son had closed.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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