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Letter from Spanish hospital saves British baby Charlie Gard's life giving hope for treatment doctors and courts dismissed
BRITISH toddler Charlie Gard has been given a new hope by Barcelona's Vall d'Hebrón hospital research unit – Great Ormond Street has agreed not to switch off his life support after receiving a letter from scientists showing evidence the experimental treatment his parents want to fund for him can in fact work.
Dr Ramón Martí, head of the neuromuscular and mitochondrial pathology unit at the Vall d'Hebrón Research Institute and his colleage Yolanda Cámara, plus two specialists from the Bambino Gesù hospital in Rome, two researchers from the University of Columbia in the USA, and one from the University of Cambridge in the UK have all signed the missive.
The letter from Barcelona says 19 patients are currently being given the experimental treatment 11-month-old Charlie's parents Chris and Connie have crowdfunded, of whom 13 are in Spain, all of whom suffer a genetic disorder 'biochemically similar' to that of the little British boy.
The letter has reached Great Ormond Street, whose management has asked the Supreme Court for a second hearing.
“We have just received evidence that the treatment we spoke of can indeed pass through the blood-brain barrier and reach the spinal chord fluid, meaning there is a chance it may work and that Charlie Gard's condition may improve,” Dr Martí said in his letter.
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom will now need to decide whether to uphold its decision to switch Charlie off and 'let him die with dignity', or whether to allow his parents to try the treatment they had planned to pay for him to have in the USA.
Pope Francisco and Donald Trump have already called for the baby to be kept alive.
Charlie's parents were forced to go to court to fight Great Ormond Street's decision to turn off life support, since doctors insisted the treatment would not improve his quality of life and he would continue to be extremely badly brain-damaged, possibly dying in agony.
The Supreme Court backed the doctors, so Chris and Connie went to the European Court of Justice which, after reviewing medical recommendations, upheld the Supreme Court's verdict.
This meant Charlie was due to be 'put to sleep' against his parents' wishes, and despite the fact they had raised the money to fund his treatment themselves, at no cost to the State.
The baby's plight has caused huge debate in the UK and worldwide, with the general consensus in British society being that the final decision should be made by Charlie's parents, particularly as the NHS does not have to use its resources for a treatment that may or may not prove effective.
But Charlie's fate is not yet sealed – and his life could ultimately be saved thanks to a letter from a Spanish hospital.
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