[Ed. – The outlook remains grim for this child, but the UK’s willingness to give the parents at least some latitude gives them a chance to cope with the reality of what lies ahead on their own terms.]
An American doctor will head to the UK next week to examine Charlie Gard, the 11-month old boy suffering from a rare genetic disorder.
High Court Judge Nicholas Francis said Friday that he was “open-minded about the evidence” to come after the visit of Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University Medical Center.
Hirano’s research focuses on mitochondrial diseases and genetic myopathies and he has treated others with conditions similar to Charlies.
The New York doctor, who is also a professor of neurology at Columbia, testified on Thursday that Charlie has a 10 percent chance of improving with experimental treatment available in the U.S. The judge ruled he could meet with Charlie’s doctors to discuss his case.
Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have been in a bitter legal battle with the hospital to keep him alive. On Thursday, they walked out of a courtroom after arguing with the judge, but returned later in the day.
The family believes the experimental treatment has a chance of improving the boy’s quality of life and reducing the brain damage the illness has already inflicted on the boy.