Prince Harry personally called parents caring for seriously ill children during coronavirus
Prince Harry checked in with a few special families this past weekend. The Duke of Sussex hopped on a video call with parents of seriously ill children to show his support for everything they’re going through amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The families on the call are supported by WellChild, a U.K.-based national charity for sick children that Meghan Markle and Harry have long supported. A WellChild nurse and WellChild CEO Colin Dyer were on the call as well. Harry opened up the conversation by noting how coping during the pandemic is “a whole different ballgame when you have children,” and especially when those children are sick.
“Where do you even start? How do you cope with that?” Harry said on the call, asking the families to share their stories.
“It’s terrifying, in a nutshell,” Leanne Cooper, a mother on the call responded.
She explained what a day of care for her child can look like. Her 13-year-old daughter, Sophie, has cerebral palsy (as well as dystonia and scoliosis, according to WellChild) and takes 45 medications a day on average.
“She does need a high level of care, and we need to give her that,” Cooper said. So, the virus aside, that doesn’t stop; we still have to give that volume of care 24/7, seven days a week. And now with the virus on top of everything else, with us in isolation and lockdown, I can’t really even put into words just how scary of a time it is.”
Another parent on the call shared what it’s been like for him and his family during this time. His 21-year-old son, Fraser, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, neuromuscular scoliosis, osteoporosis, chronic lung disorder, and Type 1 diabetes, according to WellChild.
“It’s scary; that is the first way I would describe it,” Craig Hatch, Fraser’s father, agreed on the call. “We are frightened because we know that if the virus gets in our house and if Fraser contracts the virus, then we know the implications of that are quite severe.”
Watch the full conversation below.
At the end of the call, Harry invited the parents to bring their children and other family members on to say hello.
“Full respect to every single one of you,” Harry said. “This is hard on everyone, but it is especially hard on you.”
He also explained that he hoped this video would show people that more support is needed for families like theirs.
“I know that Colin and WellChild are doing everything they can to support you guys,” he said.
“Hopefully, through this video and other things, we will be able to make it more clear and obvious to government and everybody else that you guys are in the ‘vulnerable’ bracket and WellChild needs more help.”
He ended with a final message of support.
“It’s really, really nice to see you all smiling and happy,” Harry told the families. “Keep going, keep the morale up, keep yourselves busy, keep being creative, keep doing new things, dare yourselves to do new hobbies, and I hope to see you all again very, very soon.”
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