Charlie Gard's last days were turned into 'soap opera' says medic

Charlie Gard would have turned one on August 4. Credit: PA

A medic who treated Charlie Gard has said the baby's last days were turned into a "soap opera", with him being kept alive for people such as Donald Trump and the Pope.

Writing anonymously in The Guardian, the clinician explained they had been part of the team of 200 nurses, doctors and consultants who had cared for the terminally ill baby in intensive care.

"Like all of the staff who work in our unit, I loved this child to bits," the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) worker wrote.

"But it got to the point where there was nothing more we could do."

The doctor said they did not want to lose Charlie, but that it was their job and "moral obligation" to speak up and say when they think "enough is enough".

The health worker wrote: "We gave him drugs and fluids, we did everything that we could, even though we thought he should be allowed to slip away in his parents' arms, peacefully, loved.

"We didn't do this for Charlie. We didn't even do it for his mum and dad.

"Recently, we did this for Donald Trump, the Pope and Boris Johnson, who suddenly knew more about mitochondrial diseases than our expert consultants."

Charlie died in a hospice on July 28, just days before his first birthday on August 4.

Charlie with his parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates. Credit: Gard family/AP

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.

Charlie's parents, Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31, were embroiled in a five-month legal battle with GOSH to gain permission to fly him to the US for experimental treatment not available in the UK.

However, specialists at the London hospital said the nucleoside bypass therapy would not help.

The legal battle captured the attention of the world, with the US President and Pope Francis both offering support.

"Over the last few weeks, parts of the media and some members of the public turned a poorly baby's life into a soap opera, into a hot legal issue being discussed around the world," said the medic.

She added that GOSH staff had been called "evil" by "keyboard warriors" and that friends had asked why they were trying to kill Charlie.

The case had also made other parents at the hospital "nervous" about whether the right thing was being done for their children, the health worker explained.

The clinician who contacted The Guardian said it was highly unusual, but that months of concern and frustration had taken a toll on staff.