Prince Harry, more in the press recently for girlfriend rumors surrounding Chelsy Davy and Florence Brudenell-Bruce, has put gossip aside and attended a charity event in London’s Park Lane this week, where he met a group of seriously ill children.
The prince, 26, took his time walking around and interacting with a number of the children at the WellChild Awards, an event recognizing the courage of children who are living with serious or terminal illnesses.
Awards were presented by Prince Harry to two children who were nominated as the bravest three to six year-olds in Britain.
Harley Lane, 6, contracted meningitis two years ago which quickly led to meningococcal septicemia. The young boy was lucky to survive with his heart stopping three times. His family feared he would be left brain damaged by the incident, and the doctors explained to his parents how they would have to amputate both his arms and legs to save him.
According to The Daily Mail, his mother said, “I remember thinking how can he survive such drastic surgery?”
She also spoke about how difficult it was to explain to her son what had happened after he came round from the surgery: “We explained that he had had a nasty bug that meant that his hands and feet had to be taken away. He did cry a few nights later and said he wanted his hands back – but that only happened once.”
Harley has bravely undergone physiotherapy, and has had to learn how to walk again using prosthetic limbs, but has been determined to make progress.
Prince Harry spoke at length with the young boy about his condition as well as sharing their sports interests.
The prince described Harley as, “A little hero.”
Five-year-old Sophie Cooper was also given an award by Prince Harry. Sophie has cerebral palsy and is unable to talk. She was born, along with her twin sister, at just 24 weeks gestation, weighing just 1lb 6oz.
Even, though her twin has a relatively mild condition, Sophie’s more extreme case means she is unable to walk, sit or eat unaided. She also has epilepsy and will most likely need 24-hour care for the rest of her life.
However, Sophie has refused to be down about her situation; she is a happy smiley child who has fought to get stronger and is now learning to communicate.
Sophie’s mother said, “Life can be hard, but Sophie is still giggling and that gives us hope for the future,” according to the Daily Mail.
“Despite all of trauma, the operations, and the heartache she is so brave and happy. Her smile can light up the whole room,” her mother added.