Charlie Gard has passed away after doctors turned off his life support machine.
Having battled for months to allow him to receive experimental treatment in the U.S, Charlie’s parents withdrew their request earlier this week and his life support was removed today.
Charlie, who would’ve turned one next week, spent his short life fighting the rare genetic condition, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.
His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, were both unknowingly carrying the faulty gene.
Doctors believe that Charlie, born August 4 last year, is one of only 16 people to have ever suffered from the condition.
The syndrome refers to a group of disorders that cause affected tissues to suffer from a major drop in mitochondrial DNA.
This meant that Charlie did not get any energy to his muscles, kidneys and brain.
The syndrome is typically fatal in infancy and early childhood and there is currently no cure, although some treatments have shown a reduction in symptoms.
His parents set up a major fundraising page that raised £1.3 million aiming to get Charlie sent to America for an experimental new therapy called nucleoside bypass.
This therapy could theoretically have repaired Charlie’s mitochondrial DNA helping it to synthesise again.
However, Charlie’s parents lost a court battle as judges sided with doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital who called for his ventilator to be switched off allowing Charlie to ‘die in dignity’.
The couple also had their final wish, taking Charlie home on his last day before he died, rejected, although he was moved to a hospice to receive end of life care.
Connie and Chris have thanked the thousands of people who have supported them, now known as Charlie’s Army, through the incredibly distressing time.
May he rest in peace.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.