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Terminally Ill UK Baby Charlie Gard Gets First Brain Scan by US Doctor — Parents Get a Big Update

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Charlie Gard, the terminally ill baby fighting for his life in the U.K., received his first brain scan with a neurologist from the U.S., who also reportedly examined the infant for six hours.

Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, are currently fighting a decision from a European court that their son should be removed from life support. Charlie suffers a rare genetic disorder called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.

Dr. Michio Hirano, a specialist based in New York, flew to London to examine the child and reportedly made a big determination, according to Fox News:

Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University Medical Center, who specializes in rare genetic diseases, arrived in London and will discuss Charlie’s condition with doctors treating him and independent specialists. […]

Hirano, believes that the chance of treatment being successful are between 11 to 56 percent and he hopes to improve muscular strength.

A spokesman for the Gard family, Alasdair Seton-Marsden, said the experimental treatment gives Charlie a small but significant chance of improvement.

The family spokesperson also issued the following statement:

“Today, Charlie’s case has moved from the chances of this ground-breaking therapy working from being as close to zero, as to make no difference to, according to the expert evidence that’s been heard in court, to a small but significant chance.”

In light of Dr. Hirano’s visit, a source close to Charlie’s family said they “remain optimistic” about treatment. London doctors have claimed the baby’s condition is untreatable.

The U.K. high court will now listen to the American doctor’s expert opinion and decide whether Charlie will be permitted to be taken to the U.S. for future treatment.

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