Chris Gard and Connie Yates have launched a foundation to assist parents fighting for the right to seek treatment for their ill children in the face of government overreach.
According to LifeSiteNews, the website GoFundMe – which Gard and Yates used to raise more than $1.5 million during their, ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to save their son Charlie Gard – has donated £10,000 (roughly $13,000) to the foundation.
“It gives us great pleasure to announce that GoFundMe.com have been so touched by our case that they have kindly donated £10,000 towards Charlie’s foundation,” the parents announced in a statement on the website CharliesFight.org today.
The couple added that they will be putting all existing donations from their GoFundMe account, as well as all future funds, into the foundation.
In their statement, the couple declares that their goal for the foundation is to “help other children with mitochondrial diseases and rare childhood illnesses.”
“We also intend on becoming a hub of information for parents that may find themselves in a situation like ours,” the statement continues.
“There needs to be more clarity for parents about parental rights when it comes to making life-saving decisions about their children. Access to medical treatment, and expert clinicians, should never be denied if funds are available. We will be looking at ways in which we can help make things clearer for families and hospitals alike.”
The statement continues, “we feel that the foundation will be a lovely legacy for Charlie, and we hope that you will all continue to support us in honoring the life of our little warrior as he helps other children and their families.”
Charlie Gard died on July 28, 2017 following a lengthy legal battle during which the British government blocked his parents from bringing him to the United States for experimental treatment that could have saved his life.
As The Guardian reports, the legal battle lasted five months, with the British government arguing that Gard should “die with dignity” in a British hospital.
For several months, British medical officials dismissed the possibility that the experimental treatment in the U.S. could save him. Eventually, they recanted and admitted the procedure might work after all.
Still, the British government decided to proceed with legal hearings concerning whether or not to allow Charlie Gard’s parents to bring him to the U.S.
At that point, Charlie Gard’s parents decided – as The Independent reports – that it would be too late for the experimental treatment to be effective by the time the courts made up their mind.