Charlie Gard, an 11-month old infant, has captured the attention of the world. He was born with an extremely rare degenerative genetic disease, and is currently unable to see, breathe, or move on his own. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital—arguably one of the best pediatric centers in the world—have treated Charlie since his diagnosis with Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome when he was just one month old. But now, his doctors say that his disease has progressed to the point that there is no hope for future survival with any quality of life. The medical team brought in doctors from Barcelona, Spain, who came to the same conclusion.
However, Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Constance Yates, disagree with the doctor’s assessment. In December, desperate to help their child, they found a pediatric neurologist and hospital in the United States who were willing to allow Charlie to undergo an experimental treatment, called nucleoside bypass therapy, which they believe could slow the progression of the disease. His parents created a GoFundMe page to raise the money needed for transportation and medical costs, and as of this writing, have raised £1,322,320 ($1,715,000) for his care. All appeared to be going as planned, until the court denied Charlie’s parents the right to remove him from the hospital and transport him to the U.S. for care.