‘The case has changed’: U.S. doctor may fly in to examine baby Charlie Gard
LONDON, England, July 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – During the court proceedings that will determine whether Charlie Gard lives or dies, there was "an amazing answer to prayer" and it seems his chances of being given another chance are increasing, according to a pro-life pastor who was there.
"We are seeing miracle after miracle in this case," Rev. Patrick Mahoney said of the court proceedings in a Facebook live video. "Ten days ago, virtually no one thought that Charlie Gard would live another day. The court had set the date for the ventilator to be pulled off." But then, "God intervened."
The English court is considering new evidence in Charlie's internationally-watched bioethics and parental rights case. Previously, English and European courts ruled in favor of Great Ormond Street Hospital, not Charlie's parents, being allowed to decide his course of care. The hospital wants to remove baby Charlie's ventilator; his parents have raised over $1.5 million to bring him to the U.S. for experimental treatment.
Charlie has a rare mitochondrial disease.
A New York doctor ("Dr. I"), whose name Mahoney says he isn't allowed to release, testified via video that if he is able to treat Charlie, the 11-month-old has at least a ten percent chance of improvement.
"You could feel a ripple go through the court" when he said that, Mahoney recounted. And ten percent is a "conservative" estimate – the doctor said Charlie's chances of improvement are as high as 56 percent.
This revelation "changed the dynamic so much that Justice Francis, who [is] presiding over the case, asked Dr. I in open court, would he be willing to come to London to examine Charlie," said Mahoney. This is something "which we have been begging for for weeks."
"You don’t have to open up the pages of the Bible to see God answer prayer," said Mahoney. "You’re seeing it happen here in London in a courtroom involving an extraordinary 11-month-old boy and his incredible parents."
The "whole narrative of the case" has now changed with the possibility of the New York doctor coming to examine Charlie, or the possibility of Charlie going to the United States to be treated.
"When the proceedings started and the way it was going, most of us felt at best there was a 50-50 chance" of Charlie being allowed to live and pursue treatment elsewhere, said Mahoney. "And just in the past hour and a half, the entire arc of the case has changed...There is probably not one legal expert or one journalist who would feel the ventilator will be pulled."
A non-parental "guardian" for Charlie, presumably appointed by the government, suggested that if it's not certain new therapy will help Charlie's brain, it isn't worth trying, according to Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life. She was also in the courtroom with Mahoney and Charlie's parents.
She said the judge has now received "significant evidence" in favor of letting Charlie live and that the New York doctor said he'd be willing to come to London.
Guardian pushing on brain damage. Implies if can't be certain that therapy will work to improve Charlie's brain, not worth trying.— CatherineGlennFoster (@cateici) July 13, 2017
Judge has rec'd doc evidence. "It is significant evidence."— CatherineGlennFoster (@cateici) July 13, 2017
Doc says he come to U.K. to examine Charlie. Waiting to hear if any objections.— CatherineGlennFoster (@cateici) July 13, 2017
The petition Charlie's parents delivered to Great Ormond Street Hospital on Sunday grew from 350,000 signatures to half a million by the end of the court proceedings today.
The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Paul Ryan, tweeted his support for Charlie today. He joins a number of American political leaders, like President Trump, Vice President Pence, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) in supporting Charlie. Franks and Wenstrup are introducing a bill to make Charlie a permanent U.S. resident so it will be easier for him to come here for treatment.
I stand with #CharlieGard & his parents. Health care should be between patients & doctors—govt has no place in the life or death business.— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 13, 2017
Trump said he'd be "delighted" to help Charlie. Pence said on Rush Limbaugh's radio show, one of the most listened-to conservative talk shows in the country, "we hope and pray that little Charlie gets every chance."