Baby's parents end court fight for U.S. treatment; he'll die bef - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Baby's parents end court fight for U.S. treatment; he'll die before 1st birthday

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 LONDON (AP) -- Hours after his parents dropped legal efforts over the treatment of a critically-ill baby, Pope Francis has called Monday for prayers for Charlie Gard and his parents.
   The 11-month-old boy is hospitalized in Britain because of a rare genetic condition. Connie Yates and Chris Gard ended their efforts in court to send their child to the United States for an experimental treatment. They said that the window of opportunity to help him had closed. Recent tests found Charlie has irreversible muscular damage. The hospital previously concluded that the infant had already suffered "irreversible neurological damage" and that treatment would be "futile." The case has drawn international attention.
   The Vatican said in statement Monday evening that Francis "feels especially close" to the Gard family "at this time of immense suffering." Francis requested prayers from the faithful.   
   The father of critically ill child Charlie Gard says the infant will not make his first birthday in less than two weeks.
   In an emotional statement outside of London's High Court on Monday, Chris Gard said too much time has elapsed in court hearings as the couple fought to have permission to send the child to the United States for experimental medical treatment.
   Chris Gard said it was time to let Charlie go and "be with the angels."
   The mother  has told Britain's High Court that they "only wanted to give him a chance of life."
   Hugging her husband Chris Gard and weeping, Connie Yates told the court on Monday that they had decided it was no longer in the best interests of their 11-month-old baby to pursue an experimental treatment in the U.S.
   The parents withdrew their legal challenge on Monday.
   The couple said they had wanted to give Charlie a real chance of getting better and that a "whole lot of time has been wasted." Yates says she hoped that Charlie's life would not be in vain.
   The couple had been fighting for months for permission to take Charlie to the United States for medical treatment. But Great Ormond Street Hospital in had argued it would not help and may cause him pain.
   A lawyer for the parents of critically ill Charlie Gard says the window during which the baby could have been helped by experimental treatment has closed.
   Grant Armstrong says it is "worthy of a Greek tragedy" that Charlie's parents must withdraw their appeal, just as they were about to present new evidence to a court.
   He says delays in treating Charlie mean his condition is now so poor that treatment will not help. He says tests show that the baby has irreversible muscular damage.
   Armstrong says the 11-month-old's devastated parents now "wish to spend the maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie." He says discussions will be held in private about when Charlie's life-support will be switched off.
   He says the parents "wish to treasure their remaining time with Charlie, however short that may be."
   The parents of critically ill baby Charlie Gard are dropping their legal bid to send him to the United States for experimental treatment.
   Lawyer Grant Armstrong says Chris Gard and Connie Yates are withdrawing their appeal to court orders saying Charlie's treatment should end.
   The couple cried at London's High Court on Monday as their lawyer said time had run out for 11-month-old Charlie.
   The couple has been fighting court rulings saying their son's life support should be withdrawn.
   The parents of a critically ill infant are returning to court for the latest stage in their effort to seek permission to take the child to the United States for medical treatment.
   Britain's High Court is considering new evidence in the case of Charlie Gard. The 11-month-old has a rare genetic condition, and his parents want to take him to America to receive an experimental treatment.
   Doctors say that the treatment won't help and could cause the child pain.
   The judge has scheduled a two-day hearing to consider fresh evidence, after the doctor who was to conduct the treatment came to London to evaluate the child.
   Last week Great Ormond Street Hospital told the parents that a report on the latest scan of Charlie's brain made for "sad reading."
 

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