Vatican City, Jul 24, 2017 / 15:20 pm
After a US neurologist determined that an experimental therapy could no longer potentially be of aid to a British baby born with a disabling medical condition, his parents have given up a legal challenge to take him to the US for the treatment.
British and European courts had sided with English hospital officials who sought to bar Charlie Gard's parents from seeking treatment overseas.
Greg Burke, the Holy See press officer, said July 24 that "Pope Francis is praying for Charlie and his parents and feels especially close to them at this time of immense suffering. The Holy Father asks that we join in prayer that they may find God's consolation and love."
Charlie Gard, aged 11 months, is believed to suffer from a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness. The disorder is believed to affect fewer than 20 children worldwide. Charlie has been in intensive care since October 2016. He has suffered significant brain damage due to the disease and is currently fed through a tube. He breathes with an artificial ventilator and is unable to move.