Leven lad McKenzie meets Harry and Meghan

WellChild Awards 2018 sponsored by GSK, at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet Mckenzie Brackley - Picture by Antony Thompson
WellChild Awards 2018 sponsored by GSK, at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet Mckenzie Brackley - Picture by Antony Thompson

Four-year-old McKenzie Brackley from Leven has been named as a winner in the WellChild Awards, and was whisked off to the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London to receive his award from none other than Prince harry and his wife Meghan.

McKenzie, who became seriously ill aged two when a virus caused him to have Acute Flaccid Paralysis was picked from hundreds of nominations from across the UK to win the category of Inspirational Child in the awards which celebrate the courage of children coping with serious illnesses or complex conditions.

After McKenzie caught his virus, he was in intensive care for three months, unable to breathe for himself or move.

Once out of danger, McKenzie worked really hard at the intensive therapy needed for him to learn to swallow, speak and walk again. His struggle continues as even now he has some residual paralysis and weakness and struggles to keep his weight up.

Mckenzie’s mother, Amy, who nominated him for this WellChild Award said: “Within a few hours our lives changed forever when my happy, healthy, beautiful boy became dangerously ill and had to fight for his life.

“I truly believe my cheeky little monkey deserves this WellChild Award for the way he has come out the other end still smiling.

“He’s my little inspiration and I am the proudest mum in the world.”

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During his lengthy stay in hospital, Mckenzie won the hearts of everyone he met, not just the health professionals looking after him, but also from other children in the hospital with his selfless attitude and random, but genuine acts of kindness.

Linda McCarthy, WellChild Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialist at The Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh, said: “I have had the privilege to work with McKenzie and his family and can’t think of a more deserving winner.

All the team are proud of how far McKenzie has come during his recovery and rehabilitation, especially considering all the challenges and obstacles he has had to overcome during his short life.

McKenzie’s fighting spirit – his sheer determination that he would regain his mobility and independence; his infectious sense of fun, and his charming personality helped him endure the many difficulties he had to conquer so far and in the future.

Speaking at the 2017 WellChild Awards, The Duke said: “These awards were created to shine a bright light on an amazingly brave group of children and young people, on their lives, and on the resolve they and their families have shown to overcome challenges.

“Life for families caring for seriously ill children is exceptionally tough. And without WellChild it is even tougher.

“Over the years, the WellChild Awards has played a huge part in highlighting what these families need, and the support that is desperately needed to meet the ever-increasing demand.”