OUR AGONY… first interview with Connie Yates since High Court ruled son Charlie should be allowed to die EXCLUSIVE in the DAILY MAIL
Parents fighting to give baby son chance of life with pioneering treatment speak of their shock at verdict
On 11th April I sat in court 47 at London’s Royal Courts of Justice and witnessed the shocking moment two parents who I have supported since November last year hear their son sentenced to death.
Connie Yates and Chris Gard first came to me for help in November 2016. Their son Charlie Gard was in intensive care at Great Ormond St Hospital, having been diagnosed with RMM2B, a rare type of mitochondrial depletion disease which weakens the muscles.
Doctors said there was no other treatment and Charlie should be allowed to die. But the couple found a pioneering treatment, nucleoside therapy, in the US and a doctor willing to help.
I put their story onto the front page of the Daily Mail and indeed into every newspaper in the UK. I ensured they went on multiple TV shows including ITV This Morning, and the BBC. Meanwhile friends and family ran a massive social media campaign and the couple raised £1.2million to pay for it.
This week however their hopes were crushed when following a High Court hearing Mr Justice Francis told them he agreed it with doctors that Charlie had structural brain damage, which the drugs could not help, and as there were concerns the treatment could cause Charlie further pain it was therefore not in his best interests to go to the US. He ruled, with a heavy heart, doctors at Great Ormond St Hospital should remove his life support and let him die ‘with dignity’.
This story in the Daily Mail goes over what happened next – following the moment Chris shouted NO! and Connie broke down.
As chaos ensued in Court 47, I immediately led Chris, Connie and their family through the judge’s entrance at the back to Kingsway where they were bundled sobbing into a black cab.
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