Charlie Gard's parents spending 'last precious moments' with terminally ill boy

Charlie Gard's parents are spending their "last precious moments" with the terminally ill little boy after they gave up attempts to persuade a judge to let him travel to America for experimental therapy.

Lawyers representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates say they want to spend the "maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie".

The little boy would turn one year old on August 4 but Charlie's parents say he "unfortunately won't make his first birthday".

Bosses at Great Ormond Street Hospital have not said when Charlie's life support equipment will be turned off.

Speaking outside court on Monday at the end of a five-month legal battle, Mr Gard said: "We will let our son go and be with the angels.

"We all have to live with the 'what-ifs' which will haunt us for the rest of our lives."

He added: "Our son is an absolute warrior and we could not be prouder of him and we will miss him terribly.

"His body, heart and soul may soon be gone but his spirit will live on for eternity and he will make a different to people's lives for years to come."

The youngster was born a healthy baby but doctors discovered he had a rare inherited disease called infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS).

The disease reduces the amount of cells patients have responsible for respiration and energy production in key organs.

Charlie, who can only breathe through a ventilator, cannot move his arms or legs and also has congenital deafness and a severe epilepsy disorder.

He has been at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London since October 11 last year.

Support for Charlie has come from all over the world. Credit: PA

His parents, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, wanted 11-month-old Charlie to undergo a therapy trial in New York.

They hoped a doctor at a US hospital could treat him with nucleoside therapy.

GOSH said nucleoside therapy is not intended to be a cure and would not improve Charlie's quality of life, but his parents were told it had worked for other children with different conditions.

Mr Justice Francis in April ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Charlie's parents subsequently failed to overturn his ruling in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.

They also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard ended a five-month legal battle over his son's treatment on Monday. Credit: PA

But the couple had recently returned to court, saying they had new evidence and they asked Mr Justice Francis to change his mind.

The couple abandoned their legal fight on Monday after concluding that Charlie had deteriorated to the "point of no return".

Speaking outside the High Court on Monday, Ms Gard said: "We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won't make his first birthday in just under two weeks' time.

"Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn't save you.

"Sweet dreams baby.

"Sleep tight our beautiful little boy."