The British parents of critically ill baby Charlie Gard have been told by a hospital lawyer that the results of their son’s latest brain scans make for “sad reading.”
Great Ormond Street Hospital lawyer Katie Gollop broke the bad news to Charlie’s parents at a pre-court hearing Friday in London.
Charlie’s father, Chris Gard, yelled “Evil!” at Gollop as his mother, Connie Yates, began to cry. The parents said at the hearing it was the first time they were being told about the latest results in the crucial test of Charlie’s brain function.
The hospital believes that 11-month-old Charlie has suffered irreversible brain damage that treatment cannot repair. His parents disagree. Earlier this week, Charlie underwent brain scans in an attempt to determine whether his brain damage is irreversible.
The results of the scans were not made public.
The pre-hearing Friday was the latest step in his parents’ long legal battle to give Charlie, who suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome and cannot breathe unaided, an experimental treatment. They believe the treatment, which has never been tested on a human with Charlie’s exact condition, could restore his muscular and brain functions.
It’s not clear how much longer Charlie can live without the treatment.
Previous courts, including the European Court of Human Rights, have sided with Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie is being treated. The hospital says the treatment would cause suffering and would not help his situation, suggesting that life-support to the baby should stop.
Charlie’s parents have, however, received support from Pope Francis, U.S. President Donald Trump and some members of the U.S. Congress.
Meetings were also held this week with Charlie’s mother, doctors treating Charlie at Great Ormond Street Hospital and American specialist Dr. Michio Hirano, an American neurology expert from Columbia Medical Center in New York who has designed the experimental treatment.
Judge Nicholas Francis, who has overseen the latest round of appearances at London’s High Court, said in Friday’s hearing that Hirano and Charlie’s parents could present evidence at a hearing Monday. He said the evidence must be new and relevant to the case.