A London hospital on Friday granted extra time on life support for a British baby with a rare disease and brain damage.
However, it is still expected to end life support in the next few days, after his parents lost a legal battle against the doctors’ decision.
Parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates were prevented by doctors at Great Ormond Street children’s hospital from taking the 10-month-old infant, widely known as Baby Charlie, to a therapy trial in the U.S.
The baby has a rare genetic condition that causes muscle weakness and brain damage.
“Together with Charlie’s parents we are putting plans in place for his care, and to give them more time together as a family.
“We would ask you to give the family and our staff some space and privacy at this distressing time,” a spokesperson for the hospital trust said in a statement.
The parents said earlier that they expected life support to be turned off on Friday.
However, the Daily Mail quoted a family friend as saying that Charlie could now remain on life support over the weekend.
“At last a ‘tiny’ ounce of compassion!” said a tweet from the couple’s “Charlie’s Fight” campaign, with a link to the newspaper report.
Gard and Yates said earlier that they were “utterly heartbroken, spending our last precious hours with our baby boy.”
“We’re not allowed to choose if our son lives, and we’re not allowed to choose when or where Charlie dies,” the baby’s parents said.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected an appeal by the parents on Tuesday, ruling that the case had been meticulously examined by the British courts.
The British courts had concluded that the child was probably suffering continued pain and distress that would be prolonged by “undergoing experimental treatment with no chance of success.”
In the video statement via YouTube, Yates said the couple had “promised our little boy every single day that we would take him home because that is a promise we thought we could keep.”
“We can’t even take our own son home to die,” Gard added.
“We’ve even been denied that.”
Charlie suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome.
The BBC had reported that the baby is believed to be one of the only 16 children worldwide with the disease.