Pope Francis has led tributes to Charlie Gard, whose fight against a rare genetic disease made headlines across the globe.
The pontiff, who had pledged his support to the baby’s parents, tweeted: “I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him.”
Earlier this month, the Pope backed the parents’ fight to take Charlie to the US for experimental treatment, saying they should be allowed to “accompany and treat their child until the end”.
The Vatican said Francis was following the case “with affection and sadness”, adding that he “expresses his closeness to his parents”.
Days later, a paediatric hospital owned by the Vatican offered to take 11-month-old into its care.
A number of other high-profile figures have issued messages of support for parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard:
:: Prime Minister Theresa May
“I am deeply saddened by the death of Charlie Gard. My thoughts and prayers are with Charlie’s parents Chris and Connie at this difficult time.”
:: US vice president Mike Pence
“Saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Gard. Karen & I offer our prayers & condolences to his loving parents during this difficult time.”
:: TV presenter Piers Morgan
“RIP Charlie Gard. A brave little boy who touched the world.
“Spare a thought for the amazing staff of @GreatOrmondSt, who work so tirelessly to save kids like Charlie Gard. They’re special people.”
:: Retired boxer Frank Bruno
“My thoughts are with the family of #CharlieGard…this has been a very difficult journey and no one will hurt more than his parents.”
:: Actress Melissa Joan Hart
“I’m absolutely heartbroken for Charlie Gard and his family and we are praying for their peace in knowing that their baby boy is now part of the army of tiny angels playing on swings in the giant playground up above.
“It’s terrifying that a government can tell parents if their child should live or die. #unfair”
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