After British courts ordered Chris Gard and Connie Yates to allow their terminally ill 10-month-old infant to be taken off life support, instead of flying him to America for experimental treatment, both President Trump and Pope Frances have gotten involved, according to USA Today.
Young Charlie Gard suffers from infantile-onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, or MDDS. This rare genetic disorder leads to muscle weakness, brain damage, seizures, and liver failure, as reported by Crime Online.
There are some experimental treatments available, particularly in America, but British courts have stated that it would simply cause the infant undue harm, with very little chance of success. His father, however, has stated that Charlie would “fight to the very end, but we’re not allowed to fight for him anymore.”
Well, according to a recent tweet, President Trump wants to help with that fight, though details are scant.
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017
It has not been revealed if President Trump’s proposed help would involve a monetary donation or a forceful rebuke to Great Britain. It is also not known what actions he could take, being the leader of a foreign nation, thus having no influence over British courts. Helen Ferre, White House media affairs director, told reporters that the president has not spoken to the family, though she did note that members of his administration have communicated with them.
“The President is just trying to be helpful if at all possible,” she said, according to a pool report.
Pope Frances also expressed his support for the family and hoped that the 10-month-old would be allowed to live and attempt to ward off the disease.
To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 30, 2017
Pope Frances followed up his tweet with an official statement on the matter, which has been translated and published by the Vatican.
“The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the case of little Charlie Gard and expresses his own closeness to his parents. For them he prays, hoping that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end is not ignored.”
A twitter handle associated with the Gard family tweeted their thanks to Trump and urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to “do the right thing and #savecharliegard.”
— Charlie's fight (@Fight4Charlie) July 3, 2017
Charlie’s doctors say that, even if he received experimental treatment in America, it would be unlikely his life would be extended or that he would be offered much comfort, according to The Guardian. The unnamed American doctor, who would be treating the infant, concurs with their opinion, noting that there would be a “small chance” of a meaningful improvement in Charlie’s brain function. However, the doctor did say that the treatment may allow the infant to “interact. To smile. To look at objects.”
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