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London Hospital Treating Charlie Gard Receives Death Threat.

The London hospital where terminally-ill Charlie Gard is being treated has said that its staff is receiving death threats.

Mary MacLeod, chairman of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), in a (http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/news/latest-press-releases/statement-chairman-great-ormond-street-hospital-22-july-2017) statement released Saturday, said, "Great Ormond Street Hospital cares for many thousands of seriously unwell children every year, providing outstanding treatment for those who need it most. Charlie Gard's case is a heartbreaking one. We fully understand that there is intense public interest and that emotions run high. However, in recent weeks the GOSH community has been subjected to a shocking and disgraceful tide of hostility and disturbance."

Read: (http://www.ibtimes.com/charlie-gard-gets-permanent-us-resident-status-treatment-similar-instances-when-help-2567648) Charlie Gard Gets Permanent US Resident Status For Treatment: Similar Instances When Help Poured In For Him

The statement said the staff has received abuse both on the street and online.

"Thousands of abusive messages have been sent to doctors and nurses whose life's work is to care for sick children. Many of these messages are menacing, including death threats. Families have been harassed and discomforted while visiting their children, and we have received complaints of unacceptable behavior even within the hospital itself," it read.

"Whatever the strong emotions raised by this case, there can be no excuse for patients and families to have their privacy and peace disturbed as they deal with their own often very stressful situations or for dedicated doctors and nurses to suffer this kind of abuse," it added.

The hospital also said that it is in close contact with the Metropolitan Police and is trying to find out the people involved in the "unacceptable behavior."

Meanwhile, the 11-month-old's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, faced backlash after GOSH received threats, (http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/23/health/charlie-gard-hospital-threats/index.html) CNN reported.

Charlie's parents said they had suffered "the most hurtful comments from the public."

"Without the excellent care of the doctors at GOSH our son would not even be alive and not a day goes by when we don't remember that," Chris Gard said in a statement. "We also know what a devastating place this can be for upset and anxious parents and we are constantly mindful that they have enough on their plate without hearing about our problems too."

"We do not, and have not ever, condoned any threatening or abusive remarks towards any staff member at GOSH," Connie Yates said, warning people "not to say anything hurtful to us as well as their doctors and other members of staff."

According to a (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-40700294) BBC report, Alison Smith-Squire, the spokesperson for Charlie parents, praised the hospital and condemned the threats the staff has received. "GOSH is undoubtedly a remarkable establishment and we are all proud of its world-renowned reputation. It is one of our finest hospitals and equally does not deserve any abuse for doing what it feels is in the best interests of a patient. ... It is time everyone refrains from making threats and nasty remarks to either the family or the hospital," she said.

Read: (http://cms.ibtimes.com/charlie-gard-update-us-hospital-offers-experimental-drug-treat-terminally-ill-baby-2562449) Charlie Gard Update: US Hospital Offers Experimental Drug To Treat Terminally-Ill Baby In London

Responding to Charlie parents, a spokesperson for GOSH released a statement Sunday night. "We are grateful for what Charlie's parents have said and agree wholeheartedly that any abuse of anybody involved in this case is unacceptable. This is a heartbreaking time for Charlie's loving parents when they should be given every support," the spokesperson said in the statement.

Born Aug. 4, 2016, Charlie suffers from a rare genetic disorder called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS) that causes muscle weakness and loss of the ability to eat, walk, talk, and even breathe. His parents have initiated campaigns and fundraising events to keep him alive on life support system for the last eight months.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Jul 24, 2017
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