"I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is for you guys."

By Christopher Luu
Updated Apr 15, 2020 @ 9:30 pm
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He may be an ocean and a continent away, but Prince Harry is proving that keeping up with his beloved patronages isn't hard at all. While much of the world is self-isolating to stave off the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19, Harry arranged a personal video chat with WellChild, a children's charity that he's been involved with for more than a decade.

During the call, Harry spoke with a nurse and families that he's met before, including Leanne Cooper, a mother of three, and father-of-four Craig Hatch. When he logged on, Harry noted that it was "great to see so many familiar faces" and got right into talking about the challenges facing the families, who have children with cerebral palsy, scoliosis, and other multiple complex medical conditions that require round-the-clock care.

"The resilience and strength that you guys have shown is absolutely incredible and you must never ever, ever forget that," Harry told the parents. "And, of course, there's going to be hard days, I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is for you guys, having just one kid [myself] — an 11-month-old — so to see what you are doing on a day-to-day basis, I have so much respect for every single one of you."

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The families explained to Harry how their daily routines have changed and how the virus is just one more thing that they're worrying about on top of things such as making sure the kids' medicines are available.

"Sophie needs a high level of care and we need to give her that," Cooper said of her daughter. "The virus aside, that doesn’t stop, we still have to give that volume of care 24/7, seven days a week. And now with the virus on top of everything else, with us in isolation and lockdown, I can’t really put into words just how scary a time it is."

Harry and Rachel Gregory, a WellChild nurse, commended the parents on all the work they do and their dedication to the care of their children in the face of quarantine.

"On a day-to-day basis, it’s incredibly challenging for all you guys, but now this has taken it to a whole new level," Harry said. "You are a shining example of being super-parents. Spinning so many plates and juggling so many balls at the same time, it's amazing."

Harry finished by telling the families to stay positive, since nobody knows when things will return to normal. He encouraged families everywhere to stay strong and support one another. WellChild and other charities are facing funding issues now that events have been canceled. Ever hopeful, he let those on the call know that when this is over, everyone will come out stronger.

"The recovery is going to take a long time for everybody, especially within the charitable sector and charities like WellChild," Harry said. "In the immediate term, it’s about supporting each other. If the equipment is hard to get and it’s hard to visit people, then just being able to speak to each other, whether it’s on Zoom or FaceTime or whatever it is, just to be able to communicate and draw some strength from other people. I think when you've been through hard times, you really come out so much stronger, not just for yourself and not just for your family, but for other people, as well."