It's been 3 years since Charlie Gard died. This is what his parents' lives look like now.


After so much grief, the parents of Charlie Gard have joy back in their lives. Mum Connie Yates, now pregnant again, has had her 20-week scan and been able to see her new baby boy. The unborn child, who stood a one-in-four chance of having the same rare genetic condition that claimed the life of Charlie, is not only healthy but looks “uncannily similar” to his older brother.

“It’s amazing how alike they look,” father Chris Gard told the Daily Mail.

Back in July 2017, when baby Charlie passed away, millions around the world grieved with his parents. Yates and Gard had fought a five-month legal battle with Great Ormond Street Hospital. They’d wanted to take Charlie, who had mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, to the US for experimental treatment.

Watch: The Project discuss the Charlie Gard case, in 2017. Post continues below.

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Pope Francis said he was following the case with “affection and sadness”, and US President Trump tweeted that he would be “delighted” to help. Supporters of the couple, calling themselves Charlie’s Army, raised more than £1.3 million ($AUD2.5 million) to send Charlie overseas.

But the little boy had already suffered muscle failure and significant brain damage. Doctors at the hospital believed the treatment would be futile and would only prolong his suffering. The courts agreed.

Charlie was moved to a hospice and his life support turned off. He passed away just days before his first birthday.


“Our beautiful little boy has gone,” Yates said in a statement. “We are so proud of you, Charlie.”

Gard described his son as an absolute warrior.

“We are so sorry that we couldn’t save you. We had the chance, but we weren’t allowed to give you that chance. Sweet dreams, baby.”

Gard has since revealed that the couple suffered horrendous trolling, with Yates receiving a vile message right after Charlie passed away.

“We’ve had some awful stuff,” he told This Morning. “Ten minutes after Charlie dies someone texted her and called him ‘worm food’.”

While it would have been understandable if the couple had just retreated from the public eye, they decided instead to create a legacy for Charlie. Gard, a postman, and Yates, a care home worker, threw their energy into setting up The Charlie Gard Foundation, to research treatments for mitochondrial disease.

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At the launch of the foundation, a year after Charlie’s death, Gard announced that he and Yates were engaged. He said he’d had a father-son conversation with Charlie just hours before he passed away, and had made him some promises.

“And one of those promises I made was that no matter what happens, I would always care for and look after his gorgeous mummy for him,” he added.

“When the day comes that we get married, the most important person to us will not be there, but don’t worry, he’ll be up there watching, hopefully with a big smile on his face.”

The Charlie Gard Foundation has organised a string of fundraisers, and last year, gave out its first research grant, to Dr Caterina Garone at the University of Bologna. Gard and Yates have also worked tirelessly to bring in a new law that would avoid parents in their situation having to go to court to battle a hospital. That law was introduced in the House of Lords in February this year.


“We received a lot of negativity because we were up against a children’s hospital, but we want Charlie’s legacy to be a positive one,” Gard told the BBC. “If we can prevent one family from going through what we went through in court, then job done.”

Late last year, Yates discovered she was pregnant again. She hid her positive pregnancy test at the bottom of a bag, and took it with her to Charlie’s grave, which she and Gard visit almost every day. She wanted both of them to be at the grave when Gard found out the news.

“I suddenly saw the blue test result, which said ‘pregnant’, and I just said, ‘Oh my God!’” Gard told the Daily Mail.

He said he was “elated”, but he also admitted to being worried, “because I can never see myself loving another baby as much as Charlie”.

The couple’s new baby is due in August, almost exactly four years after Charlie was born. Yates was thrilled to see him at the 20-week scan.

“I was completely overwhelmed to find that everything showed our little boy was doing well and was completely healthy,” she told the Daily Mail.

She says the new baby has put a smile back on their faces.

“We feel so incredibly lucky that we get the opportunity to welcome another baby boy into our family.”

Mamamia has reached out to Connie and Chris for comment.