Please pray: Charlie Gard’s parents meet with hospital to fight for baby’s life
LONDON, England, July 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – International pro-life activists arrived in London today, where they will be joining baby Charlie Gard's parents for an important meeting with hospital officials at 5:00 p.m. local time.
Charlie is the baby who's captured the world's attention as his parents have battled Great Ormond Street Hospital to keep him alive.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, Charlie's parents, have been fighting in European courts for their right to bring their 11-month-old to the U.S. for experimental treatment for his rare muscle and brain disease. They raised over $1 million to do this, but English courts sided with the hospital, which wants to remove him from life support rather than allow him to be transferred to another hospital.
The European Court of Human Rights sided with the hospital in a final ruling. Charlie was scheduled to die on Friday, June 30, but his parents have been granted more time with him. The hospital has the legal right to turn off Charlie's life support at any time now, and his parents aren't allowed to take him out of the hospital.
At 5:00 p.m. London time (12:00 noon EST), Rev. Patrick Mahoney will accompany Chris and Connie to a crucial meeting with hospital officials. Mahoney is joined in England by Catherine Glenn Foster, a pro-life lawyer and the President of Americans United for Life, and Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo.
Mahoney is asking pro-lifers around the world to pray for Charlie and that his parents' wishes will be respected.
"We are here by invitation of Charlie's parents," Mahoney explained in a Facebook live video. "Connie had a critical meeting with the hospital today at 11:00 a.m. London time...the situation is still so fluid. We're praying, we're trusting God, we're putting a campaign together that we want all of you to be involved with called #IAmCharlie."
Charlie's parents said the hospital is "keeping them in the dark" about what will happen to Charlie.
"We can only hope that various meetings they’ve been having to which we have not been invited are positive and that they will let us take Charlie to the U.S. for treatment," Connie told The Sun.
"On rare occasions when Connie and Chris are invited in to talk with Great Ormond Street hospital meetings they feel ambushed," a family spokesperson told the UK outlet. "They are called in at very short notice leaving no time for them to get a lawyer to accompany them. The way they are continually treated as if their views as parents don’t matter is heaping stress on them at a time when naturally they are already very distressed."
President Trump, who has said the U.S. would be "delighted" to help Charlie, is rumored to be planning to discuss the situation with UK Prime Minister Theresa May at the G20 summit today. May has refused to help Charlie. She faces international pressure, particularly from members of European Parliament.
"We had an incredible meeting at the White House yesterday," Mahoney said.
Pope Francis has also expressed his support for Charlie, and a Vatican hospital offered to treat the baby. Great Osmond Street Hospital rejected this offer, according to Bambino Gesù Hospital, the Vatican hospital that made offer.
Foster said Charlie's situation shows how tragic and dangerous it is "when the state makes decisions instead of the family."
"We believe very simply that this is not a political issue, a liberal or conservative issue," said Mahoney. "It's just a simple premise, and that premise is this: should parents be involved in the important and critical decisions that are made concerning the future, the healthcare...of their children? And sadly, in this case, the courts have said no."