Parents in the U.K. are fighting for the right to take their 18-month-old son, who suffers from Mitochondrial disease, to the U.S. for an experimental treatment. Despite raising the £1.2 million needed to take the toddler overseas, the boy’s medical team has advised against it, saying there is “no real prospect of improving Charlie’s condition or quality of life.” Even the American doctor offering the treatment said the chances of it working were “vanishingly small.”
The boy’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, pleaded with the courts on Friday, asking them to give their boy “one more shot at life,” even if that shot is a shot in the dark. They believe that the trial could improve Charlie’s muscle strength, though there is nothing to suggest it would improve his brain function. On the other hand, his medical team thinks it would just prolong the inevitable, and even cause further harm to the little boy, who is already suffering from regular seizures, is forced to be on a ventilator, and undergoes a suction procedure every two to three hours.
Charlie’s parents are adamant that they see things that his medical team doesn’t, including purposeful movements and behaviors. After calculating that they had spent 3,200 hours with him (much more than any nurse), they’ve concluded that his brain function isn’t as bad as what his medical team has been saying.
Unfortunately, if Charlie’s American treatment isn’t approved, the U.K. medical team has determined “it is not in Charlie’s best interests to continue to receive life-sustaining medical treatment.” The Court is adjourned until Tuesday when Mr. Justice Francis will make his decision.