Why Harry Beattie is ‘One Amazing Kid’
Harry Beattie was born at 27 weeks in Raigmore Hospital Inverness after an spontaneous rupture in the membrane at 22 weeks. He was ventilated for 3 months and had a Patent Ductus Arteriosus closed in Glasgow prior to this. Due to an ongoing chest infection Harry had many stays in hospital. On one occasion he was so ill, he was transferred to Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Harry ended up being there for 3 months with a tracheotomy at the end of this. Having two other children at home who were adopted (Harry was an IVF baby), was really difficult.
Natasha Bolger from Disabled Living interviewed Harry Beattie’s mum, Beverley.
Please can you tell us about Harry’s background?
At 11-years-old the next big admission was to try ventilation as he had hypoventilation. Now, Harry ventilates via a tracheotomy 24/7. He has had very little admissions for his chest since this, until recently. I think he finds life tougher as he gets older and feels tired more easily. Harry has always been the happiest wee boy and although he is in a chair and can’t speak, boy can he get his point across… he is definitely the ‘boss’! Others will ask if I’m his personal assistant (or I’ll ask if I’m his slave) and Harry shakes his head and sticks out his tongue. This is Harry’s way of responding with ‘yes’. So I know my place! He understands every word and can answer a yes or no question by actions I’ve just
Harry has severe cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs and has severe dystonia which causes him so much pain. We are waiting for results from St Thomas’ Hospital in London about having Deep Brain Stimulation to help manage his dystonia and hopefully managing his pain better as he is on a ton of medication to try and help this. He absorbs medication really quickly and what he is on should knock out a horse, but not our Hars!
What are Harry’s favourite things/hobbies?
Harry loves books including audio books. TV is also a big hit with CBeebies being his favourite. I tell him he is too old for it but he doesn’t care!
What was it like meeting Harry Hill?
Harry Hill has been so kind to him. He invited Harry to London to watch the recordings of his show ‘Alien Fun Capsules’. Harry giggled all the way through! We are still in touch with Harry Hill who is an absolute gentleman. .
..And Prince Harry too! Can you describe what that was like?
Harry was awarded a ‘Well Child Award’ in 2017 – nominated by the Well Child nurses in Edinburgh. He won the Inspirational Young Person Award. We are so proud of Harry getting this award. He has had such a tough life and never complains, unless I’m not doing what he wants!
Prince Harry is the patron for this charity and he is such a genuine, down-to-earth and funny man who understood Harry’s sense of humour. They enjoyed a bit of banter throughout the evening. They both said I “forced Harry to wear the kilt”. So before the end of the evening, Prince Harry took a few steps back and leaned in to my Harry to say, “Remember, do not let your mum make you wear that kilt again if you don’t want to!” Of course, Harry giggled. The evening was a star studded affair and the children were
the stars that night – just as they deserved to be.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
This is not the journey we would have chosen for our child, but hand on heart I wouldn’t change a thing (apart from him being in pain) he is an inspiration to us all and makes us laugh every day! We have met amazing people through Harry he has definitely made us better people by having him in our lives. One amazing kid!
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