Charlie Gard's parents upset by 'backlash' over Great Ormond Street death threats

Charlie Gard in Great Ormond Street Hospital

Last week the American specialist, Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Centre in NY, travelled to London to examine Charlie for the first time and discuss the case with Great Ormond Street doctors.

GOSH chairwoman Mary MacLeod said that Doctors and nurses have been subjected to abuse in the street and received thousands of threatening messages in recent weeks.

In a statement, she said numerous messages were menacing, including death threats, and that the hospital was in close contact with the police.

Mr Gard and Ms Yates have asked judges to rule that Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in NY.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard are hoping to stop the hospital from turning off their son's life support so that they can pursue experimental treatments in the U.S. for his rare form of a mitochondrial disease.

His parents want to take him to see specialists in the United States who could offer him an experimental therapy known as nucleoside. The hospital says the treatment would cause suffering and would not help his situation, suggesting that life-support to the baby should stop.

Parents visiting their seriously unwell children have also been harassed, including on the grounds of the hospital itself, she said. Staff have received abuse both in the street and on line.

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'We are extremely upset by the backlash we've received after Great Ormond Street Hospital put out their statement last night, ' the couple said.

The court is expected to rule next week whether or not 11-month old Charlie can be taken to the USA for experimental treatment.

MacLeod said Charlie's case was a "heart-breaking one".

Previous courts, including the European Court of Human Rights, have sided with Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie is being treated.

Mr Gard added: "We have always acted in Charlie's best interests and we have never slated gosh publicly, in fact we have been grateful to the staff for their care despite some conflicting issues".

Court is schedule to resume early next week, but despite American lawmakers going so far as to grant the infant and his parents temporary USA citizenship, it appears unlikely that the court will allow Charlie to be transported for treatment that has been ruled to have "no prospects of success" and which "would offer no benefit". The parents said at the hearing it was the first time they were being told about the latest results in the crucial test of Charlie's brain function.

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