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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Charlie Gard dies in hospice care

Charlie Gard, the baby whose legal battle caught the attention of the world, died on 28th July, just over a week before his first birthday, his family announced.

Connie Yates, the baby’s mother, issued a brief statement saying: ‘Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.’

Charlie, who would have turned one year old on 4th August, had been transferred to a hospice for palliative care after Yates and his father, Chris Gard, said, on 24th July, that they had decided to drop their legal battle to pursue treatment overseas.

The couple wanted to take Charlie home to die, but a High Court judge decided it was in the child’s best interest to spend his final hours in the care of a hospice. He suffered from encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.

The situation had caught the world’s attention, including the attention of Pope Francis. The day the parents dropped their legal battle, Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said the pope was “praying for Charlie and his parents and feels especially close to them at this time of immense suffering.”

After news of Charlie’s death, Pope Francis tweeted: ‘I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him.’

Picture: Charlie Gard, who was born with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, is pictured in this undated family photo. The baby, who was at the centre of a legal battle that captured the world’s attention, died on 28th July, just over a week before his first birthday. (CNS photo/family handout, courtesy Featureworld).