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Charlie Gard dies following long battle over experimental treatment

Click to play video: 'Charlie Gard life support withdrawn after lengthy legal health battle' Charlie Gard life support withdrawn after lengthy legal health battle
WATCH: Charlie Gard, the terminally ill baby at the centre of a lengthy legal debate over treatment, has died. – Jul 28, 2017

Terminally ill British baby Charlie Gard has died.

“Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie,” said the boy’s mother, Connie Yates, in a statement Friday.

READ MORE: Despite global attention, British baby’s life-support to be turned off

Gard’s parents waged a lengthy legal battle to bring their son to the United States for experimental treatment. Britain’s Supreme Court had ruled that it was in the infant’s best interest to be allowed to die with dignity.

The boy’s case garnered international attention following offers of help from both Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump. An online page collecting funds to pay for Charlie’s experimental treatment raised more than $2 million.

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The 11-month-old suffered from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which causes progressive brain damage and muscle weakness.

The diagnosis came as a shock to his parents, as the boy was born “perfectly healthy,” before beginning to show signs of illness at eight weeks, the family said on the online fundraising page.

READ MORE: Hospital caring for baby Charlie Gard receives threats from protesters as case continues

“He literally has nothing to lose but potentially a healthier, happier life to gain,” Yates wrote, in her plea for funds to take Charlie to the U.S. for treatment.

Charlie required a ventilator to breathe and was unable to see, hear or swallow.

This undated handout photo shows Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Gard.
This undated handout photo shows Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Gard. Family of Charlie Gard via AP

Last week, Charlie’s parents abandoned their legal efforts after tests showed that the infant had irreversible muscular damage that could not be helped by the new treatment.

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A final request to take Charlie home for his last days was also denied, with a British judge deciding that the boy would spend his final days in hospice care.

He died a week shy of his first birthday.

— With a file from Reuters

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