Alfie Evans' family pledge to 'build bridge' with doctors

Sanya Burgess, News Reporter

The parents of terminally ill toddler Alfie Evans have said they will work with doctors to ensure their son has "the dignity and comfort he needs".

Father Tom Evans said the family intend to "form a relationship, build a bridge and walk across it" with the hospital where their son has been treated.

"Our lives have been turned upside down by the intense focus on Alfie and his situation," he told reporters outside of Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool.

Making a plea for privacy, Mr Evans said: "We are very grateful and we appreciate all the support we have received from around the world, including from our Italian and Polish supporters, who have dedicated their time and support to our incredible fight.

"We would now ask you to return back to your everyday lives and allow myself, Kate and Alder Hey to form a relationship, build a bridge and walk across it."

Mr Evans continued to say: "In Alfie's interests we will work with his treating team on a plan that provides our boy with the dignity and comfort he needs."

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Sky News Correspondent Gerard Tubb said the High Court had been told by a doctor treating Alfie that there would need to be a change in his family's attitude if Alfie is to be moved.

He said: "Alfie's mother and father want to get him off the ICU (Intensive Care Unit)... The end of life plan is in place and the hospital will now be managing it."

Mr Evans told reporters on Thursday that his son no longer needs to be in intensive care.

Alfie's parents have been involved in several legal battle over the fate of their 23-month-old son.

Judges on Wednesday rejected appeals made by Alfie's parents to allow him to be taken to Italy for treatment.

Mr Evans and Alfie's mother Kate James made applications to the Court of Appeal after a High Court judge ruled they could take their son home from the hospital, but not abroad.

Doctors say the toddler has a rare degenerative neurological condition and is considered to be in a semi-vegetative state.

Speaking on Thursday evening, Mr Evans publicly thanked hospital staff for their efforts.

"We also wish to thank Alder Hey staff at every level for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly difficult time for them too," he said.

"Together we recognise the strains recent events have put upon us all, and we now wish for privacy for everyone concerned."

The family have said that they will no longer be making statements or giving interviews.

Earlier this week, Sir David Henshaw, the hospital trust's chairman, and Louise Shepherd, its chief executive, said staff had been subject to a "barrage" of abuse.

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