Pope leads tributes to Charlie Gard and grieving parents

Charlie Gard provided by his family taken at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. The parents of a critically ill infant Monday

The death of baby Charlie Gard last night following a bitter court battle has drawn prayers and commiserations from around the world.

His case attracted millions of supporters - including the Pope and President Trump.

AFTER A PROTRACTED, and unsuccessful, legal battle from his parents to bring their son to the U.S. to receive treatment for an extremely rare disease, 11-month-old Charlie Gard died yesterday.

However, several courts ruled that Great Ormond Street hospital was fitted to decide whether the baby had a chance of survival, and they had a legal obligation to decide when to disconnect Charlie from life support.

'Our handsome little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie, ' Connie Yates, the baby's mother, was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

British Prime Minister Theresa May also expressed her sorrow, saying in a statement, "I am deeply saddened by the death of Charlie Gard".

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence tweeted "Saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Gard. Karen & I offer our prayers & condolences to his loving parents during this hard time".

GOSH also paid its respects to the youngster, with a spokeswoman saying: 'Everyone at Great Ormond Street Hospital sends their heartfelt condolences to Charlie's parents and loved ones at this very sad time'. In a statement, the hospital said Hirano had not visited Charlie, viewed his brain imaging or read any of the second opinions about the case.

Just eight weeks old, Charlie is taken to hospital after he suddenly starts to lose weight and strength.

Charlie, who was born on August 4 past year, had a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

Charlie's mother set up a crowd funding page after an American doctor showed his willingness to offer Charlie a trial therapy of a treatment called nucleoside, which previously had positive results on children with similar syndrome, but had never been used in treating someone with the exact same condition as Charlie.

"Poor Charlie has died", they wrote. "I do think that in an era of social media, it is possible to rally huge numbers of people to your cause", said Caplan, of New York University's Langone Medical Center. That decision was then backed by the European Court of Human Rights in June, which ruled not to intervene in the case.

Charlie's parents said the support had given them renewed hope. "They are lying. Why don't they tell the truth?" The baby was blind and deaf and was connected on life support.

Earlier this month the Vatican press office said the pontiff prayed that "their wish to accompany and treat their child until the end is not neglected".

USA president Donald Trump also weighed in, saying the United States would be "delighted" to help if it could. The heated commentary prompted Judge Francis to criticize the effects of social media and those "who know nearly nothing about this case but who feel entitled to express opinions". "Sometimes they do not have the strength, confidence or support to deal with the media and the public and often find themselves under pressure to agree with the hospital over a course of action".

The family had fought to be allowed take Charlie home to live out his final moments but their request was denied. Hospital opposes the plan and it is dismissed.

Giving up on treatment, Ms Yates said: 'Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy'.

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