NEW YORK( FOX 5 NY) - A Congressman from Nebraska says critically-ill British infant Charlie Gard has been granted permanent resident status in the United States, opening the door for him to receive treatment in the U.S.
Charlie's parents have fought in court for permission to take the child to the U.S., but doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital have put up a legal fight, arguing that a new treatment won't help and could make the child suffer.
Charlie suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease that has left him brain-damaged and unable to breathe unaided.
On Tuesday evening, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R- NE) announced via Twitter that the U.S. House of representatives had voted in favor of granting Charlie permanent resident status.
We just passed amendment that grants permanent resident status to #CharlieGard and family so Charlie can get the medical treatment he needs.— Jeff Fortenberry (@JeffFortenberry) July 18, 2017
It is not clear if the permanent resident status will force the hospital to let the child to leave with his parents.
Earlier in the day, an American doctor specializing in treating rare genetic conditions met with specialists treating Charlie.
Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University will spoke with doctors from Great Ormond Street Hospital and the child's mother, Connie Yates.
The hospital gave Hirano an honorary contract, which gives him the same status as its own physicians. Under the arrangement, Hirano and another doctor, whose name is protected by court order, will be allowed to examine Charlie and have access to his medical records and hospital facilities.
Hirano's visit was organized during a court hearing last week after he testified the treatment was worth a try.
Pope Francis and President Donald Trump have weighed in on the case in support of finding alternate treatments for Charlie.