Charlie Gard doctors remain ‘unconvinced’ after flying visit by US neurosurgeon who said he could treat him

The British doctors caring for Charlie Gard are understood to remain unconvinced by an American neurosurgeon who claimed he could treat the little boy.

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) staff spent five and half hours on Tuesday locked in discussions with Dr Michio Hirano, a US specialist who flew back to the US on Tuesday night.

Charlie’s mother Connie Yates was also present at the meeting to determine the best course of action for her 11-month-old son.

Dr Hirano had flown to London on Monday to examine the boy and assess brain scans carried out at the weekend.

Dr Hirano had said his experimental therapy could help treat Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic disease. GOSH believes that Charlie has suffered irreversible brain damage and that life support should be withdrawn but his parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard, from Bedfont in west London, argue he should be transferred to a New York hospital for treatment from Dr Hirano. 

A High Court has already ruled that Charlie be allowed to ‘die with dignity’ but agreed to further examination after hearing Dr Hirano’s therapy could significantly improve his quality of life.

 Miss Yates, 31, thanked Dr Hirano and another specialist, who cannot be named, for flying in to see her child.

She said: “Our gorgeous baby boy is still stable. We are at his bedside and feel satisfied he is not suffering or in any pain. As Charlie’s loving parents we are doing the right thing for our son in exploring all treatment options.”

She said that Dr Hirano had requested a new MRI scan and a 30-minute EEG scan but that “GOSH preferred a longer EEG which the judge ordered”. 

Miss Yates added: “Our son has now undergone the scans. We have facilitated the experts in every possible way. Charlie will be having some more tests shortly.”

It is not clear what those tests are.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard with baby Charlie

Great Ormond Street has declined to comment on the discussions with Dr Hirano while the court case is ongoing.

But it is understood the hospital failed to be persuaded by claims he had made in the High Court last week that he could help Charlie and that he had seen no evidence of irreversible brain damage.

The hospital is understood to be sticking by its position statement issued last Thursday. In that statement, the hospital said: “It has been and remains the unanimous view of all those caring for charlie at Great Ormond Street that withdrawal of ventilation and palliative care are all that the hospital can offer him consistent with his welfare.

“That is because in the view of his treating team and all those from whom GOSH obtained second opinions, he has no quality of life and no real prospect of any quality of life.”

The case will come back to the High Court on Friday with further hearings expected next week that will finally decide the fate of Charlie,who suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome.

His doctors say he is blind, deaf, unable to move and badly brain damaged, with no…

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