'Our beautiful little boy has gone': Charlie Gard has died, family announce

Charlie Gard, the baby boy whose fight for life captured the attention of the world, has died.

The 11-month-old baby was born with a rare genetic disease called mitochondrial depletion syndrome which caused progressive muscle weakness and meant that he was deaf and unable to cry.

In a statement, his parents said: "Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie."

Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31, were embroiled in a five-month legal battle with the hospital where their son was being treated, to gain permission to fly him to the US for experimental treatment not available in the UK.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) argued that any further treatment given to Charlie would unnecessarily prolong his suffering and recommended that the baby’s life support treatment be stopped.

A spokewoman for GOSH said everyone at the hospital sent their "heartfelt condolences" to Charlie's family.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "I am deeply saddened by the death of Charlie Gard. My thoughts and prayers are with Charlie's parents Chris and Connie at this difficult time."

The fight to save Charlie captured international sympathy and interventions from the Pope and US President Donald Trump.

Just hours after Charlie's death, the Pope tweeted: "I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him."

Over £1 million was raised through an online funding page to pay for Charlie to be treated in the US.

However, despite public support and after a long legal-battle on 24 August Charlie’s parents released a statement saying they were stopping legal action as their son had deteriorated “to the point of no return”.

Charlie was born a healthy baby but doctors discovered he had a rare inherited disease. Credit: Gard family

Timeline of the battle to save Charlie

  • August 4 2016 - Charlie Gard is born a "perfectly healthy" baby at full term and at a "healthy weight".

  • September 2016 - Doctors discover that Charlie has a rare inherited disease - infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS).

  • October 2016 - Charlie is transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital after he becomes lethargic and his breathing shallow

  • December 2016 - Charlie spends his first Christmas in hospital with his parents putting a festive bib on the youngster and sharing a picture captioned "our little elf".

  • January 2017 - A crowd-funding page is set up to help finance trial therapy in the United States.

  • March 3 2017 - Great Ormond Street bosses ask Mr Justice Francis to rule that life-support treatment should stop.

  • April 11 - Mr Justice Francis says doctors can stop providing life-support treatment after analysing the case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

  • May 3 - Charlie's parents ask Court of Appeal judges to consider the case.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates speak to the media outside the High Court. Credit: PA
  • May 23 - Three Court of Appeal judges analyse the case and dismiss the couple's appeal two days later.

  • June 8 - Charlie's parents lose fight in the Supreme Court - his mother Connie Yates, screams as justices announce their decision.

  • June 20 - Judges in the European Court of Human Rights start to analyse the case after lawyers representing Charlie's parents make written submissions.

  • June 27 - European court judges refuse to intervene. A Great Ormond Street spokeswoman says the European Court decision marks "the end" of a "difficult process". She says there will be "no rush" to change Charlie's care and says there will be "careful planning and discussion".

  • June 29 - Charlie's parents say his life-support will be switched off on Friday June 30.

  • June 30 - They say GOSH has agreed to "give us a little bit more time" with Charlie. They ask for privacy "while we prepare to say the final goodbye".

A poster in support of Charlie Gard outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Credit: PA
  • July 2 - Pope Francis calls for the couple to be allowed to "accompany and treat their child until the end", saying he has followed the case with "affection and sadness".

  • July 3 - US President Donald Trump intervenes, tweeting: "If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the UK and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so."

  • July 4 - Bambino Gesu, the Vatican's children's hospital in Rome, offers to take Charlie in.

  • July 10 - Charlie's parents return to the High Court and ask Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of the case. Mr Justice Francis says he will consider any new evidence.

  • July 17 - Michio Hirano, the New York neurology professor who offered to treat Charlie, travels to London to examine the little boy, discuss the case with Great Ormond Street doctors and other clinicians and examine fresh scans.

Dr Michio Hirano travelled to London from New York to examine Charlie. Credit: Columbia University Medical Center
  • July 21 - Lawyer representing Great Ormond Street says new scan makes for "sad reading".

  • July 22 - Great Ormond Street chairwoman Mary MacLeod says doctors and nurses have been subjected to abuse in the street and received thousands of threatening messages in recent weeks.

  • July 24 - Charlie's parents announce their decision to end their legal fight, saying: "We are sorry we could not save you." Mr Justice Francis had been scheduled to analyse what his parents said was fresh evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court. But as the hearing got under way, the family's barrister Grant Armstrong told the judge: "This case is now about time. Sadly time has run out."

  • July 25 - Lawyers representing Charlie's parents and Great Ormond Street Hospital are back in court for a hearing at which the parents' wish to take their son home to die was discussed.

  • July 28 - Charlie Gard dies, just days before his first birthday.