Harry’s Letter

My name is Harry Doyle. I’m 12 years of age and a pupil at Henley in Arden High School. Just over 4 years ago my mum Becky gave birth to my youngest brother Liam. He was born with pneumonia and after a period of being in intensive care, he came home 4 weeks later.

Soon after, my dad (Birmingham City FC Goalkeeper Colin Doyle) had to go to China with work and he told me that I was now the man of the house and I was to help mum. A day after dad left, Liam started to become very unwell and on Thursday the 15th July 2010 I stayed awake by mum all night as we tried to settle Liam. Around 5am that morning my mum went to get a nappy for Liam. I had to shout for my mum because my baby brother started fitting. My mum took my 6-week old baby brother straight to hospital and my Nan and Grandad came round to look after me and my 2 year old sister. I did not see my brother or my mum or dad for over two weeks.

We had to go to stay with my other grandparents in Wales and we were given special medication to make sure we were fine. I knew from that night that Liam was not well and later found out he had meningitis, but at 8 years of age I did not really understand what that meant or the impact it would later have on our life.

My brother Liam has spent so much time in and out of hospital since that day. This year Liam was again treated for pneumococcal septicaemia and Strep B. My brother can get sick a lot quicker than me and you, and is often brought to hospital by ambulance straight into resuscitation. He also suffers with seizures and me and my sister (who is now 6) both know how to put him into the recovery position and call mum. We are like his young carers, but we are proud to look after our brother because we love him so much.

Even after all that he goes through, Liam never stops smiling. His strength of character and his happy personality is a real testament to who he is, and so on March 7th next year, with the help of my mum and dad, I will be holding a charity night at The Village Hotel in Solihull. It will be a dinner dance and Free Radio’s Tom Ross will be hosting. We will be having great entertainment on the night, as well as a few surprises.

The money that is raised on the night will be going to a charity that has supported our family and many families like ours. At Meningitis Now, the money will help fund preventative research. They also support families by tailoring the support to suit the needs of the individual to cope with the burden of living with meningitis and its after-effects. They offer support for as long as it is needed, because the effects of meningitis can last forever.

I write in hope that your business may be able to donate an item for the auction, in return for recognition on the night, your logo on brochures, and also knowing that you are supporting many children like my brother. You or your company may also wish to buy a table for the event. Tables for the event cost £450 pounds for a table of ten.

If you can please help I would be grateful if you could please email my mum Becky on beckyd440@aol.com, because I have school in the daytime.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Harry Doyle

Age 12