David Cameron Talks About His Late Son On The Alan Titchmarsh Show

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Conservative party leader David Cameron just gave a live interview to ITV1’s ‘The Alan Titchmarsh Show’ where he spoke openly for the first time on UK television regarding the recent death of his young son Ivan.

Alan Titchmarsh: “David you’ve just been through the worst experience any parent can imagine being through. How have the last few weeks been?”

David Cameron: “Well it’s been very difficult because it was just the most enormous shock. We always knew that Ivan wouldn’t live forever because he had this very rare condition and he had been incredibly ill in his short life but we never expected him to die so young or so suddenly so it was just a real bolt that hit us. People write the most lovely letters to you and everyone says there will come a time when you’ll look back and you’ll feel happy at his life and you’ll remember the good things and not just being sad at his death. I know that will come, it just takes some time. And we just miss him.”

Alan Titchmarsh: “Were you surprised at the depth of feeling and the amount of letters that you got?”

David Cameron: “Yes, I mean I think I got about 11,000 letters. I will reply to all of them. What was very touching was the amount of people who have children like Ivan who either had died or are still alive who wrote and sent pictures and said what they’d been through. And it was just fascinating to read from people you’ve never met and people you may never meet but who just felt moved to write a letter and enclose a picture and tell you about their story. And that was sort of helpful in a way. We just sat around and read them together because what they’d been through we were going through and so that meant something.”

Alan Titchmarsh: “What about Nancy & Arthur cos you know you’ve got two other children. How did they take it?”

David Cameron: “Children are quite resilient and there are moments when they talk about it a lot and think about it a lot and then other moments when they seem ok. Nancy takes the view that Ivan’s in heaven now and he’s doing things which other children do which he couldn’t do before like walking and talking and eating chocolate. It was lovely of her to say that but it will just take a long time until we get to that point where we look back and remember all the good things. I do remember how much pain he had in his life and all the operations and all the seizures and all those things and all that pain has stopped so that’s a positive thing to hold onto.”

Alan Titchmarsh: “How does it inform your attitude to other families who have that problem in Great Britain? Do you think it makes you a different person in terms of making sure that other people who were in the situation you were in have an easier time of it?”

David Cameron: “It makes you understand all the pressures and the difficulties. Because you come into contact when a child like Ivan is born, not just with the National Health Service and all the care you get there but also Social workers, Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists – all sorts of things you need. And fighting those battles to get what you need for your child helps you fight those battles for your constituents, helps you to understand what families need. And also helps you understand there are amazing professionals out there that want to do great things to help families and that’s brilliant. But in the end the parents, they know the most about their children and I think it taught me as well that it’s really important to listen to the parents about their severely disabled children and where you can, listen to the children too and actually hear what they’re saying because they’re knowledge is really greater then any professional.”

Alan Titchmarsh: “Has the experience changed you as a person?”

David Cameron: “I’m sure it has. I think having children changes you anyway and when you have a child who is as needy as Ivan then that makes a big change. I remember the first person who said me to me after Ivan was born, ‘Well good things will come of this’. And I remember wanting to thump them but actually they were right. You do learn a huge amount and as I say there will come a time where you look back and think of all those wonderful moments.”