Teen a YouTube hit with song for Irish gran suffering alzheimers

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.
“I didn’t realise how severe it could be.  I went back home and put all my feeling into music.”
Harry Gardner stayed up until 2 am writing the song for his grandmother
Harry Gardner stayed up until 2 am writing the song for his grandmother
Harry then posted the emotional song on Facebook and YouTube – but it exploded with people across the world reacting to it.
Even today, moments after his Pat Kenny interview, Harry’s Facebook has been flooded with responses from those with relatives with the illness.

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.

“We realised three years ago when my mum and dad were playing Scrabble, always a challenging game – but my mum put down the word ‘joy,’ with the letter ‘G ‘.
“She kept putting it down and when I looked at her eyes I could tell she really thought that was how she spelled the word.”
Maureen’s grandchildren, including Harry, didn’t realise anything was wrong for some time.
But when Harry did – he decided music was the best way of facing his trauma.
“She started to withdraw,” Maureen said.
“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.
“It is upsetting.  She now has my dad, who is amazing.  He dresses her, does the washing, cooking, cleaning, so he’s pretty phenonemal.”
Harry, who has been writing songs since he was 8, stayed up until 2 am writing this beautiful piece of music, which has drawn so much attention to the illness.

The song has raised nearly £5,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Harry’s song can be bought on iTunes for just 99p at http://goo.gl/QOyIC4 or to download from Amazon Music go to https://goo.gl/AMjqNU.


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