Charlie Gard's parents 'looking forward' to court return

The parents of a dying baby in the UK are thrilled their case is returning to court, after two previous legal battles saw no change in their son's treatment.

Charlie Gard, just 11 months old, has spent all but two months of his life in hospital, terminally ill. Blind, deaf, unable to breathe on his own and brain-damaged, his parents are fighting to be able to give him experimental treatment.

Experts said Charlie's condition was irreversible and further treatment could cause him to suffer, enabling the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to win permission from the courts to turn off his life support.

Despite the verdict being upheld by the European court of human rights, his parents have continued to fight, with the Pope and US President Donald Trump joining the fray to urge continuing treatment overseas.

A new hearing is set to begin on Thursday (local time), with parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard given 48 hours to prepare what "new evidence" supporting US treatment.

The couple said they "look forward" to the new evidence being presented.

"Mum and Dad say that if Charlie is still fighting, then they are still fighting," family friend and spokesperson Alasdair Seton-Marsden told local media.

Ms Yates said there are seven doctors specialised in Charlie's condition who back their request for the experimental treatment.

"We are just so grateful for all the support we've got and I think that any parent would want to do the same, if they knew there was a treatment out there that could help their child, they would want their child to have it," she said.

Ms Yates holds faith the treatment could make Charlie a "normal boy again", saying it could be a "miracle" for the toddler.

But doctors familiar with his case haven't been so optimistic. The brain damage Charlie has already suffered is irreversible, meaning even on the off-chance the experimental treatment extends his life, the little boy will remain blind, deaf, unable to breathe on his own and unable to move.

An online campaign raising money for Charlie to be taken to the US for treatment has raised more than £1.3 million (NZ$2.3 million) so far.