Vice President Mike Pence Meets Parents of Little Charlie Gard at White House

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Vice President Mike Pence hosted at the White House today the parents of Charlie Gard, the critically ill baby boy who died this past summer after authorities in England refused to allow his parents to take him out of the country for treatment.

Connie and Chris Gard met with Pence on Friday, according to a tweet from Pence.

Their son suffered from mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes brain damage and muscle failure.

Many experts say Charlie Gard’s case was hopeless, but some specialists in the United States and in Italy wanted to try alternative treatments. But the hospital in London said no, and courts in England also denied Charlie’s parents requests to take him out of the country, citing a United Kingdom law requiring that the “best interests” of the child be followed, as decided by a guardian appointed by a court.

Charlie died July 28, a little before what would have been his first birthday.

In the days before Charlie died the U.S. Congress made him a permanent resident of the United States so he could come here for treatment. Pope Francis also invited his parents to bring Charlie to Italy for treatment.

Pence said Friday it was “An honor to welcome the courageous parents of little Charlie Gard … to discuss the life and legacy of their son.”

“Their parental love and devotion to their son is inspiring and a reminder of how precious all lives are,” Pence said in the tweet.