Charlie Gard: The public battle and 'raw' personal grief

Credit: Feature World

Confirmation of Charlie Gard's death came with a short, simple, but tragic message.

"Our beautiful little boy has gone. We are so proud of you Charlie."

Those few words hint at the personal grief now being felt by one family, who've lost a beloved son.

But Charlie's death is also being felt by many, who never even knew him.

Millions of people around the world have followed the ultimately tragic twists and turns of this little boy's life.

Not just because it's a heartbreaking nightmare that any parent would dread, but because it's provoked some fundamental questions about the powers and the limits of experimental treatment; the ethics of medicine and of course about the rights, or lack of rights, of a parent to decide what's in their child's best interests.

The influence that Charlie Gard had is demonstrated by the reactions coming in; From the Prime Minister Theresa May, who 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."

From the Pope, who tweeted: "I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him."

And from the hospital at the very centre of this bitter dispute: “Everyone at Great Ormond Street Hospital sends their heartfelt condolences to Charlie’s parents and loved-ones at this very sad time.”

Personally, I've never seen such raw grief and sadness or such anger and hostility as I saw in the courtroom during this case.

Now that the legal battle, and Charlie's battle, is over - one hopes that the parents did manage to have those final moments of tranquility that they so desperately wanted with their son.

Charlie Gard suffered from a rare genetic condition. Credit: Feature World