Prince Harry spent an hour laughing and playing with the brother and sister
Photos from Prince Harry’s recent reunion with two terminally ill siblings in a London hospital are the stuff that fairy tales are made of: magic and love. The images are also doing a great job of breaking and melting hearts everywhere.
Six-year-old Ollie Carroll and his sister Amelia both have Batten disease. It’s a rare and fatal genetic childhood nervous system disorder, that will eventually hinder their ability to walk, see, eat, or breathe, according to BeyondBatten.org. Sadly, many children diagnosed with Batten don’t live past age 12.
On Tuesday, Ollie and Amelia’s parents, Lucy and Mike, posted photos of their special visit with Prince Harry along with a touching description of their time together. “For an hour Prince Harry sat with us talking and playing with our children, laughing and making memories. The very thing our children want the most in life, to be happy and having fun.”
“The love, the support and the laughter within that treatment room on Tuesday will stay with us forever,” they write. “From the bottom of our hearts we thank Prince Harry for his support, his time and his kindness towards our family and our journey with Batten Disease.”
Prince Harry originally met the pair last year at the WellChild Awards. From then on, it was obvious that Prince Harry had a special connection to the family. The children’s parents wrote of their initial meeting saying, “What happened that day was truly magical, Ollie used all of his strength to stand on two feet to give Prince Harry a huge hug.” The royal’s visit made a real impression on their son. “We truly believe in that moment a bond was made between Ollie and Prince Harry.”
Looking at these photos not only brings comfort to these kids and their parents, but to the rest of us too. It’s not every day we see a public figure, or in this case, actual royalty, devoting time to a topic like childhood illness. Thinking about a child suffering or passing away is uncomfortable to discuss for many of us. But we must remember that by talking about hard stuff, we’re creating awareness and providing a space for those directly effected or their loved ones to share their feelings. That’s exactly what Prince Harry accomplished by showing such compassion to these kids and their parents.
If you didn’t already love Prince Harry enough, there’s more reason to swoon. According to People, the visit was not part of the Prince’s regular duties and was originally planned in secret. The photos spread all over the internet after the family posted them, because of course they did. They’re precious.
If you’re interested in learning more about Batten disease or donating, please visit the BeyondBatten.org website and click “Get Involved.”