Charlie Gard to be buried with toy monkeys

Charlie Gard will be buried with his stuffed toy monkeys, his family has said.

The 11-month-old died on Friday from a rare genetic disorder called mitochondrial depletion syndrome.

Charlie was born with the disease which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

He was described as “perfectly healthy” at birth but was admitted to hospital a few months after he was born when he began to lose weight.

His mother, Connie Yates set up a crowdfunding page after finding an American doctor who was willing to give Charlie nucleoside bypass therapy, but had to get permission from the court after Great Ormond Street said the therapy was experimental and would not help.

His parents, Chris Gard and Ms Yates, fought a lengthy legal battle to have him treated with the experimental therapy in the US.

They eventually ended their legal fight after taking their case to the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, and European Court of Human Rights.

Speaking about Charlie’s funeral, family spokeswoman Alison Smith-Squire told the Sun: “They haven’t finalised any plans yet but they have decided Charlie will be buried with his beloved toy monkeys.”

The monkeys can be seen in an image of Charlie lying in hospital used in the media throughout the case.

The parents’ final request from the High Court was to have their son die at home, but they said Great Ormond Street Hospital “denied us our final wish” after a judge ordered baby Charlie’s transfer to a hospice, where he died shortly after his life support was withdrawn.

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Ms Yates is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying: “We should be planning Charlie’s first birthday but instead we’re planning his funeral.”

Charlie would have turned one on Friday.

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