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Charlie Gard's parents have dropped their legal battle: "This is what's best for him now"

The case of 11-month-old Charlie Gard has gripped the entire world.

Charlie was born with an incredibly rare type of mitochondrial disease, heartbreakingly meaning that he is terminally ill.

After a lengthy legal battle from his parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, with input from the Pope and US President Donald Trump, hospital staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) stayed resolute in their recommendation to let baby Charlie die.

Connie and Chris with baby Charlie in hospital (Credit: Go Fund Me/ Charlie's Fight)

But today, Connie and Chris have made the agonising decision to drop their legal case to keep their son alive.

After test results on Friday showed that Charlie had deteriorated too significantly, he will now be taken off life support.

WATCH: Battle for Baby Charlie - Good Morning Britain

Speaking at a hearing today, their lawyer Grant Armstrong, told Mr Justice Francis: "Sadly the window of opportunity no longer exists. The parents have taken an extremely hard decision."

The court heard that Charlie has suffered extensive muscular atrophy, which they say is now "irreversible".

Baby Charlie is only a couple of weeks away from his first birthday (Credit: Go Fund Me/ Charlie's Fight)

Calling the case "worthy of a Greek tragedy", Mr Armstrong then addressed the treatment being tested in the US: "For Charlie, it is too late. The damage has been done... It is no longer in Charlie's best interests to pursue this course of treatment."

He also announced that Connie and Chris will launch a foundation to help other sufferers of the disease.

Mr Justice Francis then said: "I want to pay tribute to Chris and Connie. No parent could have done more. None of us can begin to understand the parents' agony.

Connie Yates, Charlie's mum, herself then took to the stand to make a statement with her partner Chris.

Connie and Chris have campaigned for the last ten months to get Charlie treatment (Credit: Getty Images)

She said: "This is the hardest thing we've ever had to do. Following most recent MRI scan we've decided to let our son go.

"He is not brain dead. A whole lot of time has been wasted. Treatment would have improved his quality of life. There is no evidence of irreversible brain damage. If we'd had access to raw data, we're convinced he would have had treatment.

"His illness has deteriorated to the point of no return. But no organ has failed. There is no proof he is in pain or suffering.

"But the prospect of improvement now too low. Deterioration in his muscles means there is no way back. The treatment should have been tried. Charlie had a real chance of getting better."

They will now set up a foundation to help other babies who are suffering (Credit: Go Fund Me/ Charlie's Fight)

"This it's what's best for Charlie now. We've always listened to the experts. We'll always know in our hearts we did the best for Charlie. There are no winners here.

"But it's not too late for others. We owe it to him to not let his life be in vain. We'd like to thank our lawyers. We thank GOSH. We love Charlie very much. Our son is a warrior. His legally will never die. His spirit will live on for eternity."

With Chris sobbing quietly behind her, Connie cried that she would not see her son's first birthday - which would have been 4 August.

Our thoughts are with Connie, Chris and their families at this difficult time.

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