The mother of Charlie Gard, a terminally ill British baby at the center of a medical and ethical debate, says more doctors have come forward saying they believe there’s hope for the boy – even as British authorities are trying to take him off of life support.
“There is potential for him to be a completely normal boy, but we don’t know – because you just don’t know until you try,” Connie Yates said during a Friday appearance on Good Morning Britain.
She called the situation an “absolute living hell.”
“There’s further scientific research that this medication would work for Charlie.”
Eleven-month-old Charlie has a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. He is unable to move his limbs or eat or breathe without assistance.
Although Charlie’s doctors believe there is no cure for the terminal condition, Yates and her husband Andy Yard said an experimental medication offered in the U.S. may be able to help their son. However, U.K. doctors have opposed the visit, saying that it would be in Charlie’s best interest to be taken off life support.
Still, Charlie’s parents are refusing to give up hope. And Yates has said that more doctors have determined that the boy can be treated.
“There is now five doctors who agree with us, two of them are in England, one is in Spain, one is in Italy and one is in America,” Yates said on Friday. “They all specialize in this particular disease, among others. But, you know, the rare forms.”
She added: “Some of them will be scientists, there’s one pediatric neurologist and another neurologist, but they do scientific studies as well.”
The family’s story has garnered global attention, and has won his family the support of the Pope and President Donald Trump.
Trump expressed his support for the family on Monday in a tweet, writing, “If we can help little Charlie Gard, as per our friends in the UK and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.”
A White House spokesperson later alluded to the possibility of having the baby treated in the United States, noting that Trump has “offered to help.”
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 7, 2017
The Family Division of Britain’s High Court in London ruled last April that medical experimentation is not in “Charlie’s best interest,” and denied the family’s request to travel for the trial treatment, the Guardian reported at the time.
“Charlie should get a chance to try these medications,” the parents wrote on a GoFundMe page for the baby. “He literally has nothing to lose but potentially a healthier, happier life to gain.”