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.
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.