City of Liverpool, England, shows its solidarity with Charlie Gard

By Dave Andrusko

Charlie Gard

Charlie Gard

The longer the titanic battle to save little Charlie Gard goes on, the more support there is to “allow” his parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, to take him out of a London Hospital, which believes he is better off dead, and take the 11-month-old boy to Columbia Hospital in the United States for experimental therapy.

You’ve read in NRL News Today and elsewhere how President Donald Trump and Pope Francis are tweeting their support of the parents’ right to make medical decisions for Charlie, who suffers from a rare and debilitating chromosomal condition in which his cells cannot replenish essential energy. There has been some success in the United States using a natural compound, orally administered.

Now the city of Liverpool is showing its solidarity.

“A number of Liverpool city centre landmarks will be lit up blue tomorrow night to support Charlie Gard and his family,” according to Jenny Kirkham of The Liverpool Echo. “Tomorrow, a group of supporters will gather at midday for a peaceful demonstration at the waterfront in the hope of raising awareness of Charlie’s fight before a number of significant Liverpool buildings are lit up blue.”

Kirkham reports that the driving force is Christiana Byrne. She contacted the Liverpool City Council about getting behind Charlie.

“It’s amazing to see people supporting Charlie’s cause,” Byrne told the Echo. “We want more people to become aware of the struggles Charlie’s family are facing and hopefully with more awareness, Charlie will be allowed to go to America.” Byrne added

A spokesperson for the Council said: “We have been asked to light up the buildings so from 8pm the Cunard, St George’s Hall, the Pier Head and Liverpool Town Hall will be lit with blue lights.“

Two quick thoughts. First, this is very much the reverse of the famous 1982 “Baby Doe” case that NRL News wrote about at great length then, and often since.

In that case, a baby was born with a relatively minor eating difficulty(esophageal atresia –his esophagus was blocked) and with surgery he could eat. Tragically his parents chose otherwise, and he starved to death. But his real “problem” was not a blocked esophagus. It was that he was born with Down syndrome.

Charlie’s condition is much graver. It is possible he would live an extended period of time with the experimental therapy but more likely he would just live longer. His parents choose life, however limited. The parents of “Baby Doe” chose death, fearing that with surgery he would live.

Second, the mounting attention illustrates, yet again, the power of the Internet. We didn’t learn about Baby Doe’s condition until it was too late to do anything other than file desperate motions to feed the baby while pro-life attorneys made the case on his behalf.

Now Connie and Chris are able to use Facebook (in particular) to alert the world to Charlie’s plight.

I can only join you in hoping and praying the hospital gets out of the way and Charlie is quickly on his way to the United States.