Teardrops come to Harry’s rescue

Four-year-old Harry Shelford needs a kidney transplant.

Doctors diagnosed him with chronic kidney disease when he was six days old and he has to take more than 20 medications each day alongside injections.

Harry lives with his mum Natalie, 25, and grandmother Diane Parkinson, 49, and has been shielded throughout Covid-19 because of his medical condition.

Because the family can’t go out they’ve been helped by the St Helens-based charity Teardrops.

The charity helps homeless people or those at risk of homelessness in St Helens and received £14,500 in emergency funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation to help them through Covid-19

Teardrops turned into an emergency food bank to support those most vulnerable in the community as well as still continuing to support the rough sleepers and sofa surfers with hot meals and drinks. 

Harry’s grandmother Diane said their weekly food parcels have been a lifeline for the family.

She said: “When Harry was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease it changed our lives forever. He’s on a register for a transplant but it had to be cancelled during Covid-19.

“None of us are a match otherwise we’d have given one of our kidneys to Harry. He’s just been in Alder Hey Hospital to treat a kidney infection and you feel so helpless.

“Because we’re shielding we can’t go anywhere or let anyone in the house. That’s why Teardrops have been so amazing.

“We’re a vulnerable family. Teardrops don’t know us and we don’t know them but they’ve made such a difference to our lives.

“As well as the food parcel they always do something special for Harry. This week a girl wrote a card to him and he loved it. We’ve had a fire engine and a police car come to the house and had our photo taken on front door. It’s brilliant.

“Teardrops said Harry is part of Team Teardrops and I was really moved. Harry is a little warrior and we’re all grateful to Teardrops for helping us at this time.”

Philanthropist and businessman Steve Morgan announced in March he would be giving up to £1m a week to charities in Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire faced with a cashflow crisis as a result of Covid-19.

In the first eight weeks the Covid-19 Emergency Fund has made more than 400 awards to frontline charities and organisations – including Teardrops – helping over one million people in the process.

Steve Morgan, of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “When we launched the Covid-19 Emergency Fund it was to help people like Harry. It’s great that Teardrops have stepped in and supported his family. I wish Harry all the best as he battles his chronic kidney condition.”

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