Trump offers support for terminally ill British baby

Charlie Gard

Charlie Gard

A Vatican spokesman said he was following the case "with affection and sadness" and said the Pope was praying that the parents' "desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end is not ignored".

On 27 June his parents lost their final legal appeal to take their child to the United States for experimental treatment, for which they raised £1.3 million via crowd funding.

The London hospital where Charlie Gard is living his last days has refused a transfer request from Bambino Gesu pediatric hospital in Rome for legal reasons.

Speaking with journalists at the Bambino Gesù Hospital ("Baby Jesus" in English) awaiting to hear a financial report on the 2016 fiscal year, the institution's president, Italian lay woman Mariella Enoc, said that she's spoken with Gard's mother, who relayed the fact that her son wouldn't be allowed to travel.

President Trump's tweet followed Pope Francis' message on Sunday that the parents' wishes should be honored, regarding the treatment of the baby.

USA president Donald Trump has also offered to help the family.

"Upon learning of baby Charlie Gard's situation, President Trump has offered to help the family in this heartbreaking situation", White House media affairs director Helen Ferre said.

Parents of Charlie Gard, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, leave the Royal Courts of Justice on April 5, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. We have now learned that the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital reached out to the British hospital (Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children) and volunteered to take the baby. But Bambino Gesu hospital President Mariella Enoc said she was informed that the board of the London hospital said Charlie can not be moved for legal reasons. "We also encourage the Catholic community to pray for Charlie, his parents and all those that have been caring for him". The controversy around Gard has engulfed the Vatican, which infuriated some on the right by not immediately siding entirely with the parents, who want to seek experimental medication in the USA or bring their child home to die.

After they lost that appeal, the 10-month-old was due to have his life support switched off at the end of the day June 13.

With worldwide interest growing in the case, the British government said Wednesday that it backed the doctors against the potential Italy move, meaning that the boy will likely be disconnected from life support. The Gards were also banned from taking Charlie to die at home.

Charlie has an extremely rare degenerative condition called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.

The important question to ask in this and other unfortunately similar cases, he said, is, "What are the best interests of the patient?"

The specialist, who can not be named for legal reasons, said therapy would provide a "small chance" of a meaningful improvement in Charlie's brain function.

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