Charlie Gard to be buried with beloved toy monkeys as funeral plans begin

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

The 11-month-old died on Friday just a week shy of his first birthday after suffering from a rare genetic condition.

The youngster was at the centre of a legal battle between his parents - who wanted to take their son to the US for experimental treatment - and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) that attracted worldwide attention.

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."

Charlie, who was born on August 4 last year, had a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

Described as "perfectly healthy" when he was born, Charlie was admitted to hospital at eight weeks and his condition progressively deteriorated.

His parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates said they wanted to take their son across the Atlantic for nucleoside bypass therapy, but specialists at GOSH in London, where Charlie was being cared for, said the treatment was experimental and would not help.

He was taken to a hospice where life support was withdrawn and he died last week.

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

Charlie's plight saw hundreds of supporters - called Charlie's Army - lending their voices and money for him to be given treatment, with £1.35 million raised on an online fund-raising site.

The protracted legal battle saw the couple take their case to the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court - all of which ruled life support treatment should end and Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Judges at the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene in the case - and the couple said they felt "let down" following the series of court hearings.

Paying tribute to their son following the end of their legal challenge on Monday the couple, both in their 30s, of Bedfont, west London, described him as an "absolute warrior".

Mr Gard gave an emotional speech on the steps of the High Court when he said: "Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn't save you.

"We had the chance but we weren't allowed to give you that chance. Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy."