Charlie Gard: The public battle and 'raw' personal grief

Britain Sick Baby

Pope Francis tweeted: "I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him".

Charlie, who was born on August 4 a year ago, had a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

"Our handsome little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie", Connie Yates, Charlie's mother, said in a statement, as cited by The Guardian.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was saddened by his death and sent her thoughts and prayers to his parents. "My thoughts and prayers with Charlie's parents Chris and Connie at this hard time".

And Vice President Pence said on Twitter that he was "saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Gard".

The 11-month-old Charlie Gard suffered from an extremely rare genetic condition causing progressive brain damage and muscle weakness, and his parents' long struggle to save him drew an global outpouring of sympathy, including from U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis.

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Charlie Gard, the critically ill British baby at the center of a contentious legal battle that attracted the attention of Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump, died Friday, according to a family spokeswoman.

Charlie had a mitochondrial disease that caused progressive muscle weakness and brain damage, which his parents believe could have been treated by experts in the US. The Holy Father's statement said he was "following with affection and sadness the case of little Charlie Gard and expresses his closeness to his parents".

Charlie Gard died after being moved to a hospice following a high court ruling. Doctors said it wouldn't help and contended Charlie should be allowed to die peacefully.

The Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu children's hospital had offered to transfer Charlie to Rome for treatment, which the pope said should be provided "until the end", as his parents wished.

It was that decision that thrust Charlie's case into the worldwide spotlight. "Sometimes they do not have the strength, confidence or support to deal with the media and the public and often find themselves under pressure to agree with the hospital over a course of action".

Michio Hirano, a neurology expert at Columbia Medical Center in NY, and doctors from the Vatican's Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital initially said the medical treatment, nucleoside therapy, might help Charlie, according to the Associated Press.

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GOSH was ordered to keep the baby on life support for 24 hours till the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) would take up the case.

USA president Donald Trump also weighed in, saying the United States would be "delighted" to help if it could.

Doctors, nurses and other staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital received messages containing death threats.

"We are so sorry that we could not save you", they said in an emotional statement at the High Court in London.

When the couple ended their legal battle, Yates said that "had Charlie been given the treatment sooner, he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy". "Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our handsome little boy", Charlie's parents said in a statement after they gave up their fight.

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