Vatican hospital offers to help Charlie Gard

International efforts to intervene in the case of Charlie Gard gathered pace as the Vatican's children's hospital offered to take the terminally-ill boy in.

The president of the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, Mariella Enoc, told reporters she had asked Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) if Charlie could be transferred.

Her intervention comes after US President Donald Trump and the Pope tweeted their support for the little boy, who has been at the centre of a lengthy legal battle involving his parents and doctors at the central London hospital.

The Vatican's paediatric hospital stepped in after Pope Francis called for Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, to be allowed to "accompany and treat their child until the end".

Ms Enoc said: "I was contacted by the mother, who is a very determined and decisive person and doesn't want to be stopped by anything."

GOSH responded that Charlie cannot be moved for legal reasons, she said.

Successive legal attempts to allow his parents to take him to the US for experimental treatment failed as judges in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London ruled in favour of GOSH doctors, while the European Court of Human Rights declined to hear the couple's appeal.

His parents, both in their 30s and from Bedfont, west London, are now spending the last days of their 10-month-old son's life with him, after being given more time before his life-support is turned off.

Charlie suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage.

The High Court considered evidence from a specialist who would oversee any treatment Charlie had at a hospital in the US.

The specialist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said therapy would provide a "small chance" of a meaningful improvement in Charlie's brain function.

Charlie's plight has touched people around the world and the family have received donations totalling more than £1.3 million to take him to the US for therapy.

Mr Trump said: "If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so."

PA


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