A TEENAGER who wrote a poignant song about his Irish grandmother suffering dementia – to raise money for research into the disease has become a YouTube hit with more than 200,000 views .
Harry Gardener, 15, wrote an emotional song to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK after visiting his grandmother Maureen McGinness, 76, from The Burrow, Portrane, Co Dublin, who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
Maureen’s condition had become so poor that, in December last year, she could not recognise Harry for the first time.
Instead of getting upset – Harry poured out his emotions in to a song, ‘Not Alone,’ and posted it on YouTube. Now money from the song, which is also on itunes will go towards charity helping others like Maureen.
Harry told Pat Kenny on Newstalk: “She was upstairs laying in her bed. She looked right through me.
“I remember waiting for her to recognise me. She looked really confused and I knew she didn’t recognise me, it really hurt me.
The teenager has received the Point of Light, an award which recognises inspiring members of the community, by Prime Minister David Cameron.Mr Cameron said: “Harry’s song ‘Not Alone’ is a wonderful tribute to his grandmother, Maureen.
“It has helped to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among the hundreds of thousands of people who have viewed it.
“The money Harry has raised through this single will also help the important work of Alzheimer’s Research UK in fighting this devastating disease.
“I am delighted to recognise Harry as the UK’s 510th Point of Light.”
Harry’s mum, Gail, said: “We are so proud and so are mum’s family who come from Portrane in Dublin.
“She’s a lovely Irish lady but she didn’t have so much time for people anymore. She wasn’t so warm and giving as she would normally be.
The song has raised nearly £5,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.