Family to remember Harry Patterson with meal and musical night
THE FAMILY of a boy killed in a tragic accident has paid tribute to a Swansea Valley community, on the first anniversary of his death.
Parents Christian and Michelle Patterson say they are still overwhelmed by the support they continue to receive from people living in the village of Alltwen where they live, and beyond, following the death of son Harry a year ago today.
And they will commemorate their youngest son’s life by sharing his favourite meal and watching one his favourite musicals.
Mum Michelle said: “We are staying strong for each other, but we can sense and feel the build up. It feels like a great weight moving towards us.
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“Harry’s brother Dylan will be off school, and we are going to West Wales, and eat faggots, mash and peas, which was Harry’s favourite food.
“Then we are going to see Oliver! at the Grand Theatre. Christian has played Mr Bumble and we’ve been to see it in the West End, and Harry loved it, he would love singing the songs.”
Harry was just 5-years-old when he died after being struck by the family car rolling down the driveway of their home.
An inquest concluded he had likely been killed because the car had not been left in gear and it slipped down a steep hill when the brakes cooled.
The experience led Christian and Michelle to set up charity Harry’s Fund, which aims to create a memorial park in Alltwen, and to help families in other situations.
They also launched the Ping (Park in Gear) campaign, to raise awareness of the importance of leaving a car parked in gear.
Michelle added: “Dylan worries about us, and he should not have to worry.
“He has started a new year at school, and you remember that for Harry, him starting school. You see the progression of other children, you see them growing up, and you think how different Harry would have been growing up, what would have been.
“But people have been amazing.
“The community has been so supportive yet again. It never ceases to amaze us.
“As adults, we get support from the community, and Dylan gets it from rugby.
“He plays for Pontardawe now, where he is part of the team.
“He loves his rugby and that has saved him.”
The couple have now submitted an application for funding to Wren, and hope to hear if they have been successful by the end of the year.
It follows an online petition to show support for the park, which has generated more than 1,000 names worldwide.
They also added a further 750 names locally, including from visitors to this year’s Pontardawe Festival.
Cilybebyll Community Council has given its support for a memorial park, and if funding is successful, work will begin in the new year.
Michelle added: “It is really hard.
“Time keeps coming at us.
“The first year we were in shock, and we just felt numbed.
“But now I can remember every day.”