Someone has caught the attention of the world leaders like US President Trump and Pope Francis and he is an 11-month-old British child fighting for his life. Charlie Gard is suffering from an exceptionally rare genetic condition called encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS) which has caused severe brain damage and a permanent ventilator requirement.
Charlie's parents want Charlie to have an experimental treatment called nucleoside therapy, which has shown success in reducing the symptoms of some types of mitochondrial disease in mice and has shown improvement in a small number of children. However, the treatment has never been used on the type of mitochondrial disease from which Charlie suffers. On the other hand, Charlie's doctors say that his brain is extensively damaged at a cellular level and US treatment will not reverse this brain damage. Also, the treatment has not received USFDA approval which makes it an 'investigational drug'.
Since the courts in Britain intervene when parents and doctors disagree on the treatment of a child, Charlie's case is awaiting judgement and the court has asked his parents to produce evidence of the treatment's viability within 48 hours. As the child's life hangs in the balance, people all over the world await to see a historic judgement.
Source: The Associated Press