Being ‘the most special brother in the whole world’ has won Luis Singh-Eyley the award for Most Caring Young Person at the WellChild Awards in London.
16-year-old Luis is the older brother of Theo, who visits Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice for short breaks. Luis, who lives with his family in Chesterfield, has helped care for Theo since he was born at 29 weeks and Luis was just five years old.
Theo, who is now ten, was diagnosed very early on with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and feeding problems among other complex medical needs. Since then he has also been registered blind. Theo first came to Bluebell Wood in 2009 and often enjoys getting messy in the craft room with big brother Luis.
Luis and Theo’s mum Denise said: “‘Luis is the most special brother in the whole world to Theo. Theo is fed directly into his bowel hourly and continuously through the night by a machine, so he requires around the clock care. Sadly, Luis can hardly ever be our number-one priority, but he has never stopped being a brilliant, loving older brother to Theo.
“Just one of many amazing things Luis has done for Theo is recreate a beach in his bedroom. Theo’s condition means we can no longer go to the seaside, so Luis took it on himself to search Ebay for nautical bric-a-brac, such as sailing ships, seashells, miniature beach huts and a lifebuoy. Luis has always gone that extra mile for his brother and Theo loves his new room because it helps him to relive memories of trips to the beach when he was younger.
“The awards evening was amazing. It was surreal. Luis was overwhelmed that so many people were coming up to him and saying ‘congratulations’. He still thinks he doesn’t deserve it, but he absolutely does. He is extraordinary.”
Among the famous faces who turned out to honour the hugely deserving winners were Prince Harry, who took the time to speak to Luis and congratulate him on his award. The Singh-Eyley family also shared their table with magician Dynamo.
Another big highlight for Luis was meeting the actors who play Mary Taylor and Norris Cole in Coronation Street.
Emma Doughty, Head of Family Support and Wellbeing Services, Bluebell Wood, said: “Everyone at Bluebell Wood is so proud of Luis and we are incredibly excited for him. He is a truly deserving winner of this award. Every time we see him with Theo we are impressed with the amazing love and care he shows his little brother.
“It’s not always easy being the brother or sister of someone with a life-threatening or life-shortening condition, yet Luis has taken this role to his heart and shown us all how it’s done. We are so pleased that one of our wonderful siblings at Bluebell Wood has been recognised in this way.”