'Beautiful little boy' Charlie Gard dies

  • 29/07/2017
Charlie Gard with his dad
Charlie Gard with his dad. Photo credit: Supplied

Charlie Gard, the British child at the centre of a long-running legal battle over his health, has died.

His parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard made the announcement early on Saturday morning (NZ time).

"Our beautiful little boy has gone. We are so proud of you Charlie," they said in a statement.

Charlie was 11 months old. He suffered from an extremely rare depletive genetic condition, infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which causes progressive brain damage and muscle weakness.

His parents had fighting to be allowed to take him overseas for treatment, which was denied by the courts.

Charlie died in a hospice after his ventilation tube was removed.

"Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn't save you.

"We had the chance but we weren't allowed to give you that chance. Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy."

They still believe if they had been allowed to get treatment for him earlier, he could have been saved. But doctors said six months ago, he was already showing signs of "irreversible damage" to his brain, and the effects were unstoppable.

There are only 16 cases of infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome in recorded medical history, with no sufferers known to have made it past their teenage years. Most die in their first few years.

Reuters / Newshub.