Charlie Gard’s dad yells, mom weeps after brain scan called ‘sad’
LONDON — The parents of baby Charlie Gard stormed out of a pre-court hearing after a lawyer representing Great Ormond Street Hospital in London broke the news that a new brain scan of the terminally ill baby made for “sad reading,” the UK’s Press Association reported Friday.
After the hospital’s lawyer, Katie Gollop, told a judge what doctors thought of results from new scans of Charlie’s brain, the baby’s mother, Connie Yates, burst into tears, and his father, Chris Gard, yelled “evil,” according to the association.
The judge is considering new information on the 11-month-old, who was born with a rare genetic disorder called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. He is unable to breathe or move on his own and is on a ventilator at the hospital, where he has been since October.
According to the association, Gollop told the judge Friday that doctors had produced a report on the newest scan and said, “it makes for sad reading.”
Upon hearing the lawyer’s comments, Yates began to cry and said, “we haven’t even read it.”
Charlie’s father then yelled “evil” and added, “I’m not f****** listening to this biased shit anymore.”
The couple stormed out of court after the outburst.
Gollop apologized and said, “almost all the medical evidence in this case makes for sad reading,” the association reported.
“I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to cause distress,” she told the judge.
The hearing was held in advance of the trial, scheduled for Tuesday at the UK High Court. It’s the latest in an ongoing emotional legal battle over treatment for Charlie. His parents want to bring him to the United States for an experimental therapy, but the hospital has argued that every medical treatment option has already been considered and would not be in Charlie’s best interest.
On Monday and Tuesday, Dr. Michio Hirano, a neurologist from New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, met with doctors caring for Charlie and other experts and evaluated the boy in London. These meetings were arranged after Hirano testified in a previous hearing that Charlie’s MRI scan did not necessarily indicate structural damage to the brain. He said there was an “11% to 56% chance of clinically meaningful improvement” in muscular function with the proposed treatment.
Hirano added that keeping Charlie on a ventilator would not cause him harm because he did not seem to be in any significant pain.