Linford Christie, Amanda Redman and Fiona Phillips give thanks to GOSH for helping in their time of need

Linford Christie, Amanda Redman and Fiona Phillips have more reason than most celebrities to support the work of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) – they or their children were treated there. Here they tell their stories.

Linford Christie

My daughter, Briannah, had gastroschisis when she was born in 1997. Her bowels were outside her body, and she needed an operation to have them placed back inside. So, at just four hours old, she was taken to GOSH for treatment. We were really worried but knew that she was in the right place to get the best possible care.

The staff were all extremely compassionate, but at that time, due to the facilities, it was very difficult for more than one parent to stay with Briannah overnight. I was pleased to hear that new developments at the hospital have made it easier for both parents to stay with their child.

The treatment that Briannah received was excellent and successful. Just three weeks after she was admitted, we were able to take our baby home with us. She has been able to grow up fit and healthy, and is living a normal life.

GOSH is absolutely the only place I would want my children to go to if they were seriously ill. Without it, Briannah wouldn’t be here today. I cannot thank the staff enough.

Amanda Redman

Photo of Amanda Redman

In the early 1960s, at the age of three, I pulled a pot of boiling soup over myself and received severe burns over my whole body. I was taken to the best children’s hospital in the world, both then and now – GOSH. More than 35 years later, my own daughter, Emily, was a patient at the hospital and also received excellent care.

The severity of the burns I received meant that I required skin grafts. I was treated as an inpatient for a couple of months, and then followed up as an outpatient. I have very clear memories of looking out from my cot and of the kind nurses who worked on the ward. There was one young nurse who would come and sing songs to all the patients.

My injuries helped to motivate me to become an actress. I think that being an inpatient for a long period of time gave me a lot of energy and determination to be able to do this. I achieved my ambition, despite the scar on my left arm. GOSH helped me with that process, and I am extremely grateful to them for the care they gave to both myself and to Emily.

Fiona Phillips

Photo of Fiona Phillips

My little boy, Mackenzie, came to GOSH in 2003 suffering from severe chronic eczema. It was a great relief to me to know that his condition was finally being dealt with properly, after months of sleepless nights and blood-stained sheets, and trying just about everything and everyone to try to help him.

I remember, after our first visit to the outpatients department, going home and laying Mackenzie on the bed knowing that finally he was going to get the best possible treatment. It was like a miracle – literally an overnight cure after all the pain he had endured, and all the heartache and worry my husband and I had gone through. The whole team in dermatology was brilliant. They fully explained the procedure for home treatment, so that we left full of confidence as to what would happen next.

I think that GOSH is the gold standard – well, platinum, actually. When one thinks of sick children being transformed through professionalism and loving care into healthy, prospering kids, one name comes to mind, and that is GOSH. I want to say a big “thank you” to everybody at the hospital who helped to cure my son.

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Photos and article originally published in The Independent on 6 January 2016.

Photo credit: Rex