US PRESIDENT Donald Trump offered help to terminally ill UK infant Charlie Gard in a Twitter post earlier this week, after Charlie’s parents lost a legal battle to take him to the United States for experimental therapy.
11-month-old Charlie has been at the centre of a long legal battle between his parents, who wanted him to undergo American experimental therapy and specialists at a hospital in London who said the treatment was merely experimental and would not help.
‘If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the UK and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so,’ Trump tweeted on Monday morning.
Charlie suffers from mitochondrial disease – a rare genetic disorder that has left him unable to move his arms, legs or breathe unaided.
The disease causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.
It was unclear how the US president would propose to help in the case.
Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates launched a fundraising appeal on GoFundMe.com to help pay for his medical bills in the United States.
To date, they have raised £1.3 million (€1.48 million) from more than 83,000 donations.
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled last month that going to the United States for treatment would prolong Charlie’s suffering without any realistic prospect of helping him.
The court would not allow an American doctor found by the couple to be identified and details regarding the therapy were not available.
The parents asked the European Court of Human Rights to overturn the ruling, but the court declined to intervene last week.
Trump’s tweet came a day after Pope Francis said: ‘The Holy Father is following the case of little Charlie Gard with affection and emotion and expresses his closeness to his parents. He is praying for them, hoping that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end is not ignored,’ according to statement from the Vatican on Sunday.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman, asked about the Trump tweet by the English press, said it was a very sensitive case and their thoughts are with Charlie’s family.