The deadline has now passed for the decision on Charlie Gard’s end of life plan.
The judge in the Charlie Gard case yesterday ordered the tot would be moved to a hospice – unless his parents and Great Ormond Street Hospital could agree another plan by noon today.
Mr Justice Francis said on Wednesday it was in Charlie’s best interests to be moved to a hospice and extubated soon after unless alternative arrangements could be made.
The baby’s parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard have now accepted their terminally ill boy will be moved to a hospice but want up to a week with him there.
Charlie’s mum Connie Yates made a final plea for help on Facebook last night.
In her emotional post, she wrote: “URGENT to get more time with Charlie we need a pediatric intensive care consultant to come forward to assist and facilitate with a hospice or home stay by 12pm tomorrow, we will pay privately.
“PLEASE HELP US!! Can you please contact James (Charlie’s godfather) on [email protected] please only email if you can help us!
“We need some peaceful time with our baby boy.(sic).”
The name of the hospice Charlie is set to be moved to will remain private, as will other, more specific, details.
Minutes before Mr Justice Francis announced the decision to the court yesterday, Charlie’s mum Connie stormed out of the hearing.
She shouted, apparently at her son’s court-appointed guardian: “What if this was your child? I hope you are happy with yourself.”
Connie abandoned the court after a 15 minute break in which her representative and the lawyer for Great Ormond Street had a private discussion with the judge about how much time Charlie would have between leaving hospital and having his tubes removed.
The parents’ lawyer, Grant Armstrong, earlier asked for 48 hours to find an intensivist [a board-certified physician who provides special care for critically ill patients] who could look after Charlie for a few days.
But the judge said the indecision between Charlie’s parents and Great Ormond Street was “compounding” Connie and Chris’ misery.
“I have gone out of my way to accommodate the parents’ wishes,” Mr Justice Francis said.
“I must consider Charlie’s best interests.”
Connie and Chris desperately want their terminally-ill child to die in his own cot.
They have continually said they “promised” Charlie they would one day bring him home.
But Fiona Paterson, a lawyer representing GOSH, said the parents’ suggestions for home care were “not in any way viable”.
Yesterday, she told the judge this situation “cannot carry on” and “can’t drag on into another day”.
The court heard no hospice could provide care for intensively ventilated children for a long time.
The parents have been trying to find a doctor willing to oversee a plan that would allow Charlie to be ventilated in a hospice for several days.
“Unless by 12 noon the parents and the guardian and the hospital can agree an alternative arrangement, Charlie will be transferred to a hospice and extubated shortly after,” Mr Justice Francis ruled.
Earlier this week, Connie and Chris abandoned attempts to persuade a judge to let Charlie travel to America for experimental treatment.
The devastating decision, which the couple said was the “hardest thing we’ve ever had to do” came after a difficult five-month legal battle.
Having taken the decision to let Charlie die, his parents have been making desperate attempts to make an arrangement that would make it possible for them to spend several days with him, away from hospital.
At stake in this final, agonising part of the legal dispute is how long Connie Yates and Chris Gard will have with their son before he dies.
The parents had been trying for several days to gain permission to take their son home, but as today’s court hearing progressed it became clear that would not happen.
The couple, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, had originally asked Mr Justice Francis to rule that Charlie should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in New York.
Doctors at Great Ormond Street said the therapy would not help and that life-support treatment should stop.
Mr Justice Francis in April ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.
Charlie’s parents subsequently failed to overturn his ruling in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.
They also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.
The couple returned to court recently, saying they had new evidence and asking Mr Justice Francis to change his mind.
But they abandoned their legal fight on Monday after concluding that Charlie had deteriorated to the “point of no return”.