BREAKING: Charlie Gard to be Examined by American Doctor on Monday
New developments in the Charlie Gard case. A US doctor has agreed to travel to London to examine the baby, deemed too sick to live by his doctors in the UK.
Charlie Gard's parents back in court
The family of 11-month-old Charlie Gard appeared before the British High Court again this week on Thursday, after the doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) requested another hearing amid a flurry of media attention, stating that they had been presented with new, unpublished evidence related to the treatment of his condition. Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have been locked in a legal battle for months over the right to remove Charlie from care at GOSH, and travel to the US for an experimental treatment that they believe may help their son. Charlie’s parents have raised over £1.3 Million on their GoFundMe page to pay for Charlie’s medical treatment and travel expenses, but on June 29, GOSH won the battle as the court ruled that the hospital had the right to remove life support against his parents’ wishes, however, due to the massive outcry of people demanding the hospital grant his parents’ wishes, and attention from world leaders and physicians from around the globe, the hospital delayed the removal of life support, and asked the Court to re-hear the case.
American Doctor to examine Charlie Gard on Monday
On Friday, High Court Judge Nicholas Francis ruled that American Neurologist and Columbia University professor and Chief of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center Michio Hirano, MD, will be allowed to travel to London to personally examine Charlie. Dr. Hirano testified in court via videolink, that it is worth trying treatment that has only recently emerged. Dr. Hirano has treated other children with conditions similar to Charlie, and is a world specialist in the area of mitochondrial disease research, specifically, the nucleoside bypass therapy treatment that that Charlie’s parents are seeking for him. Dr. Hirano stated in his testimony that if he is allowed to treat Charlie, his chances of recovery range from 10-56%.
Reverend Patrick Mahoney, who has traveled to London to pray for Charlie at his parents' request, was present for today's court proceedings.
— Rev. Patrick Mahoney (@revmahoney) July 13, 2017
Rev. Mahoney commented today in a Facebook live video, "We are seeing miracle after miracle in this case. Ten days ago, virtually no one thought that Charlie Gard would live another day. The court had set the date for the ventilator to be pulled off." But then, "God intervened."
Rev. Mahoney stated that Dr. Hirano testified via video that if he is able to treat Charlie, the 11-month-old has at least a ten percent chance of improvement.
"You could feel a ripple go through the court" when he said that, Mahoney recounted. And ten percent is a "conservative" estimate – the doctor said Charlie's chances of improvement are as high as 56 percent.
This revelation "changed the dynamic so much that Justice Francis, who [is] presiding over the case, asked Dr. [Hirano] in open court, would he be willing to come to London to examine Charlie," said Mahoney. This is something "which we have been begging for for weeks."
Dr. Hirano is scheduled to meet with Charlie’s medical team at GOSH on Monday. Charlie’s mom, Connie Yates, fought for and won the right to attend these meetings and to be present during Charlie’s examination. Judge Francis said he is "open-minded about the evidence" to come after the visit of Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University.
Charlie suffers from Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome, an extremely rare genetic disease that has left him with progressive weakness, and unable to move or breathe on his own. Dr. Hirano has also claimed that British doctors may, in fact, be wrong about the extent of Charlie’s brain damage, and his current condition may actually be caused by a muscular problem that the therapy could fix.
This hearing is likely the last chance for Charlie’s case to be heard by the courts. The European court of Human Rights already rejected the plea of Charlie’s parents last month.