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Charlie Gard: Pope Francis offers parents support

Pope Francis has called for the parents of terminally-ill Charlie Gard to be allowed to “accompany and treat their child until the end”.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates had been expecting their 10-month-old’s life support to be turned off on Friday.

But Great Ormond Street Hospital said it will continue Charlie’s care to allow family to spend more time with him.

The Vatican said the Pope was following the case “with affection and sadness”.

A statement released on Sunday said the Pope wished to “expresses his closeness to his [Charlie’s] parents”.

“For this he prays that their wish to accompany and treat their child until the end is not neglected,” it said.

The statement came on the same day demonstrators gathered outside Buckingham Palace to protest against the decision to allow Charlie’s life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn.

On 27 June, Charlie’s parents lost their final legal appeal to take him to the US for experimental treatment.

His parents also said the hospital had denied their final wish to be able to take their son home to die, and felt “let down” following the lengthy legal battle.

Judges at the European Court of Human Rights concluded that further treatment would “continue to cause Charlie significant harm”, in line with advice from specialists at Great Ormond Street.

Doctors have said he cannot see, hear, move, cry or swallow.

Charlie has been receiving specialist treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital since October 2016.

Charlie’s parents raised £1.3m on a crowdfunding site to pay for the experimental treatment in the US.

Ms Yates previously indicated the money would go towards a charity for mitochondrial depletion syndrome if Charlie “did not get his chance”.

(Source: BBC)

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