Dr Michio Hirano flew to London from New York and went straight to examine the 11-month-old at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The Harvard-educated neuroscientist is Charlie’s last hope.
Charlie Gard had his first brain scan since April ahead of yesterday’s arrival of the American doctor who wants to save him.
Dr Michio Hirano flew to London from New York and went straight to examine the 11-month-old at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
The Harvard-educated neuroscientist – Charlie’s last hope – was joined by a doctor from the Pope’s hospital in Rome, which is also offering to treat the boy.
They spent five hours at the hospital with him and studied his latest brain scan, taken on Sunday.
Charlie Gard had his first brain scan since April ahead of yesterday’s arrival of the American doctor who wants to save him
Charlie’s parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard, of Belfont, south-west London, were present for the electroencephalogram (EEG), which monitors brain activity.
The results have not been made public but could be crucial in determining his fate. Last night a source close to the family said they ‘remain optimistic’. Today the two doctors will return for a make-or-break meeting with GOSH medics. Miss Yates, 31, will at the discussion about whether her son can be saved, after convincing the High Court judge in the case that she should be there.
Charlie’s London doctors say previous brain scans and other tests show he is irreversibly brain damaged and beyond hope.
But Dr Hirano, who specialises in Charlie’s rare form of mitochondrial depletion syndrome, says his experimental therapy has a 56 per cent chance of ‘meaningful improvement’.
A transcript of the meeting will be handed to Mr Justice Francis, who will decide next Tuesday – ten days before Charlie’s first birthday – whether he should be allowed to try the therapy or should have his life support withdrawn so he ‘dies with dignity’.
It emerged yesterday that the judge held an emergency directions hearing over the weekend, believed to be from his home.
Although the case is being held in open court, the media was given no information about the weekend hearing or why it could not wait until the working week. The judge was on leave yesterday and unavailable for comment.
Yesterday Miss Yates spent all day at GOSH, but Mr Gard was seen arriving shortly before Dr Hirano and a fellow expert from the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome came to examine Charlie. After a five-hour consultation both doctors left through a side exit.
Father-of-two Dr Hirano, 56, whose father was also an acclaimed neuroscientist, is a senior clinician at the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York.
A spokesman for GOSH said the two men were welcomed by the hospital’s medical director before being shown to Charlie’s bedside.
She said each physician was given an honorary contract granting them the same status as local clinicians, and allowing them to examine the patient and to have full access to records and facilities. ‘They will have access to all clinical systems including diagnostic images,’ she added.
An EEG Charlie had on March 30 was described as ‘very severe’ by Dr Hirano in the April High Court case. But he said he would try the experimental drugs as ‘the alternative is that he will pass away’.Read more at dailymail.co.uk