Italian hospital offering to treat critically ill baby Indi Gregory, says campaign group

Indi Gregory has mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition that saps energy Credit: PA Media

An Italian hospital has offered to treat a critically-ill baby who has been at the centre of a life support treatment fight, a campaign group supporting her family says.

Indi Gregory’s parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, have lost legal fights in London and failed in a bid to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France.

Campaign group the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Indi’s parents – who are both in their 30s and from Ilkeston, Derbyshire – said on Monday that a hospital in Rome had agreed to accept the eight-month-old girl.

A High Court judge recently ruled that doctors could lawfully limit the treatment they provide to Indi, and her parents failed to persuade appeal judges to overturn that decision.

Indi, who was born on 24 February 2023, has mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition that saps energy.

She is being treated at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.

Specialists say she is dying and bosses at the hospital's governing trust asked Mr Justice Peel to rule that doctors could lawfully limit treatment provided to her.

Indi Gregory’s father, Dean, outside court Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Indi’s parents also failed to persuade ECHR judges to intervene.

They say they expect medics in England to begin the withdrawal of treatment soon.

A boss at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, where Indi is being cared for, had said the ECHR decision concluded a “very difficult process”.

Dr Keith Girling, medical director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust – which governs the Queen’s Medical Centre, had said the “priority now” is to provide the “best possible care to Indi” and to “support her parents”.

But a Christian Legal Centre spokesman said on Monday that there had been a “dramatic development.

“A leading paediatric hospital in Italy has offered specialist treatment,” he said.

"Fully-funded by the Italian government, the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital in Rome has agreed to accept Indi for treatment."

He said Mr Gregory had received a letter from the hospital president.

“We have been given a real chance by the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital for Indi to get the care she needs and to have a longer life,” said Mr Gregory, in a statement released through the Christian Legal Centre.

“We are amazed and truly grateful to the hospital and the Italian government, which has restored our faith in humanity.

“We are now begging doctors at the Queen’s Medical Centre and the lawyers representing the trust to work with Indi and us to secure her transfer to Rome.

“Indi deserves the chance for a longer life. We cannot force the NHS and courts in this country to care for Indi but together we can give her a chance with a truly amazing treatment plan in Italy. We hope and pray that the hospital and trust will do the right thing and help us and Indi.”

Mr Justice Peel had considered evidence at a private trial in the Family Division of the High Court.

He heard that Indi, who was born on February 24, had mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition that saps energy.

Specialists say she is dying and bosses at the trust asked him to rule that doctors could lawfully limit treatment.

Medics say the treatment Indi receives causes pain and is futile.

What is mitochondrial disease?

When a person has mitochondrial disease, the mitochondria in the cells are not producing enough energy. Sometimes they are not very efficient or they do not work at all.

The parts of the body commonly affected are those that have the highest energy demands, such as brain, muscle, liver, heart and kidney.

When these systems are effected mitochondrial disease is usually progressive.

Every person with mitochondrial disease is affected differently. Each individual affected will have a different combination of mitochondria that are working and not working within each cell.

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