Terminally ill British baby Charlie Gard has passed away on Friday. He would have turned 1 next week.
The child, who was at the center of a legal battle that garnered the attention of figures such as Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump, suffered from mitochondrial depletion syndrome.
Charlie was born on August 4, 2016, and was diagnosed with the rare genetic condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.
His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, desired to take their child to the United States for an experimental medical therapy that they believed could prolong their son's life. However, Charlie's doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital objected saying that the treatment would not be helpful and would likely cause him to suffer even more.
Chris and Connie took the case to court and it made it all the way to Britain's Supreme Court. The ruling was made that it was in Charlie's best interest to let him be allowed to pass away.
Earlier this week, Charlie's parents announced that they were giving up the legal battle. Chris delivered an emotional statement about the decision to end the legal battle outside the courthouse on Monday.
"We will have to live with the 'what-ifs,' which will haunt us for the rest of our lives. Despite the way our beautiful son has been spoken about sometimes — as if he is not worthy at a chance at life — our son is an absolute warrior and we could not be prouder of him and we will miss him terribly.
"His body, heart, and soul may soon be gone, but his spirit will live on for eternity and he will make a difference in people's lives for years to come — we will make sure of that. We are now going to spend our last previous moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won't make his first birthday in just under two weeks time.
"To Charlie, we say, Mommy and Daddy love you so much. We always have and we always will, and we are so sorry we couldn't save you. Sweet dreams, baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy. We love you," he said.