Charlie Gard: Parents of unwell baby reach £1.2m target to pay for US treatment

A mother and father trying to raise £1.2m to fund treatment for their unwell baby son have reached their target.

Doctors at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital have told the couple they believe it is time to stop life-support treatment to Charlie Gard who is almost eight months old.

Charlie suffers from a rare genetic condition and medics say he should be moved to a palliative care regime.

His condition, which has no cure, is caused by a disruption in the mitochondria that provides energy to his muscles, kidneys and brain and even leaves him unable to cry.

But the little boy's parents, postman Chris Gard and Connie Yates, want to be allowed to take Charlie to a hospital in America where they have found a doctor who can provide ground-breaking treatment.

A judge is due to analyse medical evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Monday before deciding what is in Charlie's best interests.

The couple, from Bedfont, west London, who are both in their early 30s, launched an appeal on the GoFundMe website and said they needed to raise £1.2m to pay for the treatment.

Almost 80,000 people have pledged money and the target has been exceeded.

The couple wrote on the GoFundMe page: "We just can't let our baby die when there is something that might help him!

"We won't give up on him because he has a rare disease. He deserves a chance and he deserves a life as much as anyone else.

"We understand that rare diseases don't get enough funding for research but why should that be a reason for a child to die? He's here now and this could help our baby."

The money raised so far includes £40,000 from a couple in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Housewife Helen Barnes watched Charlie's parents discussing his condition on TV and immediately pledged £20,000 from her life savings.

When her husband came home from work and she told him what she had done, he agreed to donate another £20,000.

Mother-of-two Mrs Barnes, 45, told the Daily Mail: "I was moved to tears when I saw Connie and Chris being interviewed.

"I couldn't believe the terrible situation they've found themselves in.

"It seems wrong that their child isn't being given the chance of life when there is something that could help him.

"I am a spontaneous person and immediately it felt right to give them this money.

"As a mother, you will do anything you can for your child and I just wanted to help them."

Celebrities Michelle Keegan, Katie Price and Charlotte Crosby have also been urging the public to dig deep after hearing about his condition.

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