Charlie Gard parents upset by ‘backlash’ over Great Ormond Street death threats
Charlie Gard’s parents say they are “extremely upset by the backlash” they experienced after it was revealed hospital staff had received death threats.
Connie Yates and Chris Gard said they “do not and have not ever condoned any threatening or abusive remarks” towards staff members at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where their terminally ill son is being treated.
On Saturday, GOSH said in a statement that it had contacted police following death threats and a “shocking and disgraceful tide” of hostility and disturbance at the London medical facility.
Connie Yates says that her and her partner have faced a “backlash” since the revelation, adding that the couple would have liked the hospital to have “asked the public not to say anything hurtful to us as well as their doctors and other members of staff”.
The parents have been battling in the courts for permission to take Charlie to the US for treatment, but Great Ormond Street says this would not help.
Ms Yates said: “Chris and I are just ordinary parents with a very sick baby and we simply have his best interests at heart.
“Despite conflicting issues, we have always had the utmost respect for all the staff who work tirelessly at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the very difficult jobs they do every day.
“Like them we have been shocked by some of the public response to this case and agree with them that it is disgraceful that doctors have received death threats.”
Family spokeswoman Alison Smith-Squire added it was “time everyone refrains from making threats and nasty remarks to either the family or the hospital”.
She said: “Charlie’s desperate parents have come in for shameful, disgraceful and hurtful criticism from some who have left the most shocking comments on stories, accusing them of ‘enjoying the publicity’, not being loving parents because they do not want their child to die and for not facing up to the ‘truth’ of his diagnosis.”
A judge at the High Court has been hearing evidence about the potential of an experimental treatment that it is claimed could help 11-month-old Charlie.
The court has previously ruled in favour of GOSH and said the baby should be allowed to die with dignity.
The latest developments in the case are due to be heard on Monday.