NEW YORK — A New York hospital has offered to help baby Charlie Gard — a terminally ill child from the United Kingdom.
Charlie suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease that has left him brain damaged and unable to breathe unaided.
His parents want him taken to the U.S. for experimental therapy.
According to a press release, New-York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center agreed to admit and evaluate Charlie, provided that arrangements are made to safely transfer him to the facility, legal hurdles are cleared, and they receive emergency approval from the FDA for an experimental treatment as appropriate.
If approved by the FDA, the hospital stated they are willing to arrange shipment of the experimental drug to Great Ormond Street Hospital and advise their medical staff on administering it.
British and European courts have 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.
The baby’s life support was due to be switched off last week, but the hospital delayed in order to give his parents more time with him.
The wrenching case has drawn interventions from Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump, who have both said they will do what they can to help.
An online campaign to send Charlie to the U.S. for treatment has raised more than 1.3 million pounds ($1.7 million).
Great Ormond Street Hospital said Friday that “two international hospitals and their researchers have communicated to us as late as the last 24 hours that they have fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment.”
“And we believe, in common with Charlie’s parents, it is right to explore this evidence,” the hospital said in a statement.
The hospital is currently bound by court rulings barring it from sending Charlie anywhere for the experimental treatment, nucleoside therapy. The rulings also say the baby’s artificial ventilation should be withdrawn and he should receive only palliative care.
The hospital said a court should assess the claims of fresh evidence and “make its judgment on the facts.”
“Our priority has always been, and will always be, the best interests of Charlie Gard,” the hospital said.
Earlier Friday, Connie Yates told the “Good Morning Britain” TV program that five doctors had told her the experimental treatment could help her son.
“I’ve heard from doctors that there’s around a 10 percent chance of this working for Charlie so I think that’s a good enough chance to take,” she said.