Alfie's father thanks staff and pledges to 'form a relationship' with hospital

The parents of Alfie Evans have pledged to work alongside doctors to give him "the dignity and comfort he needs".

His father, Tom, 21, also appealed to the family's many supporters to step aside and allow the couple to "form a relationship" with Alder Hey Children's Hospital and go on to "build a bridge and walk across it".

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Evans said he and Alfie's mother, Kate James, 20, hoped to have a "positive" meeting to discuss his son's care with medics in Liverpool after they previously failed in an 11th-hour attempt to take the 23-month-old to a foreign hospital for treatment.

He said there had been no deterioration in Alfie's condition since he was taken off a ventilator and he was not in pain.

He accused doctors of misdiagnosing his son and also vowed to return to court if the meeting did not go well.

But he later told reporters that in his son's interests the couple would now work together with his treatment team and praised Alder Hey staff for their "professionalism".

In a statement, he said: "Our lives have been turned upside down by the intense focus on Alfie and his situation. Our little family along with Alder Hey has become the centre of attention for many people around the world and it has meant we have not been able to live our lives as we would like.

"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.

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

"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."

Tom Evans speaking to the media outside Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital (Peter Byrne/PA)
Tom Evans speaking to the media outside Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital (Peter Byrne/PA)

Mr Evans added that no more statements or interviews would be given by him on the subject.

Police remained outside the hospital on Thursday after Alder Hey said its staff had experienced "unprecedented personal abuse".

Alfie has been at the centre of a life-or-death treatment battle, with his parents trying to block doctors from withdrawing life support in a sometimes acrimonious six-month dispute which has seen a series of court battles.

Judges have heard that Alfie, born on May 9 2016, is in a "semi-vegetative state" and has a degenerative neurological condition that doctors had not definitively diagnosed.

Specialists say his brain has been "eroded".

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