Charlie Gard's Parents Urge Courts To Give Boy 'Chance He Needs' With Treatment

Charlie Gard's parents said they believe an experimental treatment can help their terminally ill son as they urged the courts to give him "the chance he needs".

The couple emerged from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to thank supporters from around the world for backing their call to allow the 11-month-old to be given a medication available abroad.

His mother Connie Yates and father Chris Gard said they reluctantly left baby Charlie's bedside to express their gratitude to the hundreds of thousands of people who have signed a petition supporting them.

Their case will go back to the High Court on Monday to hear fresh arguments following claims of "new information" from researchers at the Vatican's children's hospital.

The pair remain hopeful ahead of the hearing and said they will continue to fight for Charlie to have the treatment.

Ms Yates told the Press Association: "I absolutely believe this medication will work. I'm not a doctor but I feel like I am an expert in his condition now."

The 31-year-old said they have the support of seven specialists around the world, including one in England, and called for people to "trust us as parents and trust the other doctors who are experts in this condition".

Two United States congressmen also said they would table legislation to give Charlie and his family US resident status in a bid to allow them to travel there for treatment.

Ms Yates said she accepts not everyone will agree with her and her partner's position but maintained their son is not suffering as the lengthy legal battle continues.

She said: "There's a lot of misinformation out there in the media, but that happens, you've got to take that. But basically we wouldn't be able to sit there and watch him in pain, and suffering.

"We're not like that, we're not evil. We're not doing this for us. He's our son. We want what's best for him."

The family lost their plea for Charlie to undergo the experimental medicine after judges ruled in favour of doctors at GOSH, who argued it would not help.

Under a High Court ruling, the hospital is forbidden from allowing Charlie to be transferred for nucleoside therapy anywhere.

Ms Yates, who clutched a small soft toy as she spoke, described it as "horrible, absolutely horrible" having to begin saying their goodbyes more than a week ago when they said they were told Charlie's life support could be switched off.

Speaking to reporters earlier before handing the petition to the hospital, Ms Yates said: "He's our son, he's our flesh and blood. We feel that it should be our right as parents to decide to give him a chance at life."

She added: "There is nothing to lose, he deserves a chance."

She said the medicine, which they described as "non-invasive" has an "up to 10% chance of working" and has "no known major side effects".

Mr Gard, 33, said there is no evidence Charlie has "catastrophic brain damage", but admitted they would have to "let him go" if he was allowed to have the treatment but began to suffer.

He said: "If we won the court case and we got to America and then within the first week of treatment he started suffering and he was in pain we would let him go.

"This isn't about us. This is about Charlie and giving him the chance he needs."

Supporters, some of whom had travelled from the US, held banners and placards reading "Save Charlie Gard" as his parents spoke to the press.