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Charlie Gard’s parents withdraw appeal to seek treatment

Chris Gard and Connie Yates, the parents of terminally ill 11-month-old Charlie Gard, arrive Monday at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. They ended their legal appeal to bring Charlie to the United States for treatment. (Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images)

The parents of Charlie Gard, a terminally ill British baby, have ended their legal challenge to bring him to the United States for an experimental treatment, according to multiple reports.

According to the BBC, a lawyer representing Charlie’s parents — Chris Gard and Connie Yates — told the High Court that "time had run out" for the 11-month-old baby, because an American doctor said it is now too late for Charlie to undergo treatment.

The Telegraph reported that Grant Armstrong, the parents’ lawyer, said Charlie’s parents made the decision after seeing his latest medical reports and scans.

"The parents' worst fears have been confirmed," he said. "It is now too late to treat Charlie."

Armstrong said that the case was "worthy of a Greek tragedy." Charlie's parents now “wish to spend the maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie,” Armstrong said, who added that discussions will be held in private about when Charlie’s life-support will be switched off.

Sky News reported that Gard and Yates “sat with their heads bowed” as their decision was read in court, ending their monthslong legal battle.

Charlie suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease. He has been a patient at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London since November. The hospital sought to remove his life support so he can “die with dignity.”

Charlie’s parents challenged the hospital in court, arguing that their son should be released into their custody in order to bring him to the United States for an experimental treatment. They raised almost $2 million in an online crowdfunding campaign to bring him to the United States.

The case gained international attention after both Pope Francis and President Donald Trump offered their support to Charlie and his parents. The Vatican’s children’s hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital both offered to treat Charlie, but both offers were rejected by the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Armstrong told the BBC that Gard and Yates will establish a foundation so that Charlie's voice "continues to be heard."

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