Terminally ill British baby, family granted United States visa for medical treatment

Charlie's parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates have fought a long battle

Lawmakers approved an amendment to eventually make ailing 11-month-old Charlie Gard and his family permanent residents in the US - and a congressman was bashed for heralding the news.

"We just passed amendment that grants permanent resident status to #CharlieGard and family so Charlie can get the medical treatment he needs".

Gard and his family have been at the center of an global debate over whether governments can make life and death decisions for individuals.

The London legal battle over whether little baby Charlie Gard will get a second chance to live took a major turn on Friday.

"He's our own flesh and blood and we don't even have a say in his life whatsoever", Yates said. They also were denied permission to take the baby to the United States for evaluation and possible treatment.

Gard has mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, a rare disease caused by a genetic mutation.

Dr Michio Hirano, a neuroscientist from Columbia University in NY, is said to have spent over five hours trying to convince doctors, along with an expert from a Vatican hospital in Rome.

Earlier this week, Dr. Hirano flew to London to discuss his experimental treatment with Charlie's doctors.

Charlie is being treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital
Charlie is being treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Then, last week, the UK High Court began yet another hearing at the request of the hospital to consider "new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition".

It remains unclear if residency approval means Charlie can come to the to US without permission from the hospital or the British government.

"If he's still fighting, we're still fighting", Charlie's mom, Connie Yates, declared. Her name is Victoria-Butler Cole and she has tried to block Charlie's parents from being allowed in the room as doctors meet and examine him. We are at his bedside and feel satisfied he is not suffering or in any pain.

She said: 'Our gorgeous baby boy is still stable. The doctor, who had contacted the White House following Trump's tweets on the matter on July 3, said that in his opinion, there would be about a 10 percent chance of improvement, far higher than previously stated, citing preliminary studies of the therapy on mice.

But he was unable to persuade the London hospital's clinical team who believe it is kinder to turn off 11-month old Charlie's life support.

Charlie's parents said they were "so grateful to Dr Hirano and the other clinicians for coming to see Charlie".

"When asked what happens to the role of the Guardian if their belief that only they have the right to decide on Charlie's treatment is correct, Charlie's parents answer that he does not need a Guardian because they will speak for him", GOSH complained.

The hospital said it would admit Charlie "provided that arrangements are made to safely transfer [Charlie] to our facility, legal hurdles are cleared, and we receive emergency approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an experimental treatment as appropriate".


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