LONDON — The mother of a terminally ill baby has said her son still has a chance of surviving thanks to the interventions of U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 early Monday, Connie Yates said that attention brought by comments from Trump and the pontiff had turned their son's fight for survival into "into an international issue."
When asked if it had made all the difference, Yates said that it had "saved his life so far."
Baby Charlie suffers from a rare genetic condition, an inherited mitochondrial disease generally referred to as MDDS, or mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. As a result, he is unable to move his arms or legs or breathe unaided.
The child's parents have fought to raise $1.8 million to bring him to the United States for experimental treatment they believe could help.
But British and European courts have so far sided with the hospital's decision that the 11-month-old's life support should end, saying therapy would not help and would cause more suffering.
On Friday, Great Ormond Street Hospital, where the child is being treated, said it had applied for a new court hearing "in light of claims of new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition."
The case is due to be heard at the High Court in London later on Monday.
Trump tweeted last week that "If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so."
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017
A White House official later stated that members of the Trump administration, but not the president, had spoken to the parents in calls facilitated by the British government. The official also said the president wants to be helpful without placing undue pressure on the family.
On Sunday, Republican Congressmen Brad Wenstrup and Trent Franks called for the child to be given U.S. residency so he can undergo treatment in America.
Meanwhile, the Vatican has said the pope is following the case "with affection and emotion" and "expresses his own closeness to his parents."
Yates has said previously that, should the money that has been raised for Charlie not be used on his treatment, it will be offered to support other children with similar genetic disorders.
Also on Sunday, Yates and her partner, Chris Gard, delivered a petition organized by Washington D.C. based anti-abortion law firm and advocacy group, Americans United for Life, signed by 370,000 people.