Father of critically ill Charlie Gard begs judge to 'give my son a chance'

Hayley Dixon
Charlie Gard is being kept alive on a ventilator at Great Ormond Street Hospital - Press Association Images

The "proud" father of a baby at the centre of a High Court life-support treatment battle has told a judge that he should not "have to die because he will not be like another little boy". 

Chris Gard, 32, is pleading stop Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) turning off his eight-month-old son Charlie's life support, asking the judge: "Please give him a chance."

While the hospital is arguing that Charlie should be allowed to die, his parents have raised more than £1.2million to take him for America for experimental treatment for his rare genetic condition

Connie Yates, Charlie Gard's mother, leaving the High Court Credit:  Getty Images Europe

Mr Gard described himself as "Charlie's proud dad" and said: "My son is the apple of my eye and I would do anything for him and I want to give him a chance. He deserves a chance."

The postman, who has been clutching his son's toy monkey throughout proceedings , added: "It doesn't mean he should have to die because he will not be like another little boy running around."

His partner Connie Yates echoed his pleas, telling the judge: "I don't see the rush to end it now."

Charlie Gard with his parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard

Mr Gard said he and Miss Yates believed in the treatment trial doctors in America were proposing.

"If there is no improvement we will let him go," he said. "We just want to give him a chance. We know it is not a life. It is just having something there that could possibly improve him because he deserves a chance."

Miss Yates added: "I don't think he is suffering or I wouldn't be here."

She went on: "I don't think his brain function is as bad as what everyone else is saying."


Chris Gard with his son's toy monkey at the High Court  Credit: Getty Images Europe

Charlie was  born with a genetic condition so rare it effects only a handful of people in the world and from which doctors say he has a "vanishingly small" chance of survival.

The mitochondrial disorder saps energy from his organs and has been left blind and deaf. It is believed he has also suffered brain damage.

Mr Justice Francis is hearing evidence and will rule on whether Charlie should be allowed to travel or whether doctors should be allowed to stop treatment and let him die.

Miss Yates earlier broke down as the hearing resumed on Wednesday. 

Mr Justice Francis told the court: "I do fully understand that the parents are in an almost impossible situation."