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The American Boy Inspiring the Parents of Charlie Gard to Keep Up Their Fight

The American Boy Inspiring the Parents of Charlie Gard to Keep Up Their Fight Read Transcript


Heigh ho the derry-o, the farmer in the dell.

JOHN JESSUP: Like any six-year-old,

Arturito loves to play with toys and watch videos--

simple activities doctors once thought he'd never enjoy.

What do we have here?

JOHN JESSUP: Arturito was born happy and healthy.

But shortly after his first birthday,

his parents noticed something was wrong.

We had no idea of the storm that was heading our way.

JOHN JESSUP: He started sweating a lot,

it took him longer to eat, and he couldn't hold his head up


After three months of sleepless nights,

they finally had an answer.

Arturito had a rare genetic disorder

called TK2 mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which

destroys the body's muscles and often leads

to respiratory failure.

Doctors told his parents, there's no cure,

and that he'd be dead within two months.

So doctor, thank you, because if it wasn't for you,

we wouldn't know what was wrong with our son.

But I could guarantee you that we're not

taking our baby home to die.

Good to see you, are you the big star today?

JOHN JESSUP: Through experimental treatment,

Arturito has defied the odds.

He can't walk or talk, and requires round-the-clock care.

Still, his parents believe the progress he's made

is worth every heartache they've endured.

None of that matters.

What matters is our son is alive, he's happy,

and he's the joy of our lives.

While the Estopinans say their heart and joy is

right here in Baltimore with their little son Arturito,

their thoughts and prayers are more than 3,500 miles away

in London, England, where the life and fate of little Charlie

Gard is in question.

I still can't get my head around why we're not

allowed to take our boy in for treatment

that he so desperately needs.

But let me tell you that if there

was a plan that my son can be saved, and anyone--

I don't care if it was a judge, I

don't care if it was a doctor, I don't

care if it was an attorney, if they were blocking my child

from being saved, heaven and earth and everything in between

will be moved.

JOHN JESSUP: Art and his wife Olga

have been reaching out to Charlie's parents,

offering prayers and advice, and even

put him in touch with Arturito's doctor, who's

meeting with Charlie's medical specialist

this week in London to discuss possible treatment.

Art is grateful for the support for Charlie's family,

and especially credits the president for weighing in.

So he was supposed to be extubated on a Monday.

And President Trump tweeted on Sunday.

And then everything changed.

So President Trump saved Charlie Gard's life.

JOHN JESSUP: Art says with the continued treatment

of experimental gene therapy, he believes

his son will eventually be cured,

and wants the same opportunity for Charlie and his family.

My son is getting stronger.

He's a happy and determined little guy.

When I look at him, I feel like I

have won the lotto, that I am the luckiest dad around,

because we thought that he was leaving us.

JOHN JESSUP: John Jessup, CBN News, Baltimore.


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