West Midlands youngsters win top bravery award for meningitis fight

7th November 2015

Congratulations to two courageous West Midlands youngsters, who are celebrating scooping a top bravery award

Harry and Liam Doyle
Harry and Liam Doyle, aged 12 and 5, of Earlswood, have won the Courage Award in the St James’s Place Midlands Children of Courage Awards 2015.

They’ve been recognised for their bravery and dedication to the cause of raising awareness of and funds to fight back against meningitis and supporting us in our work to prevent anyone dying from the disease and ensuring everybody affected gets the support they need.

Harry and Liam were honoured at a spectacular awards ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull on Friday 23 October, compered by Ricky and Leah Boleto, joint presenters of the CBBC Newsround programme. 

Liam was first struck down with bacterial meningitis in July 2010 at just seven weeks old. Happily, the battling youngster survived but he has since suffered further attacks of the disease and been left with ongoing after-effects including deafness, epilepsy and ataxia.

“Our lives changed forever the night Liam first became ill at just a few weeks old. Meningitis ravaged his little body and since then he has spent so much time in and out of hospital. He will spend the rest of his life battling the after-effects of this devastating disease."

My brother, my hero

“But through all that time Harry has been a tower of strength for his younger brother, as has his sister Ava.” 

“Harry did a school project in his last year of junior school and he had to do a project on his hero. While most chose footballers and actors, Harry's was entitled ‘My brother my hero’."

“It was about how Liam was his hero because he had survived meningitis, but in fact, it was Harry who saved his brother’s life by watching over him, and it's Harry who helps put his brother into recovery positions after his seizures.”

Becky Doyle, proud mum

We provide support and guidance not just for Liam but for the whole family, who have worked tirelessly to raise money and awareness since Liam first became ill. Becky will tackle the London Marathon next year and the family has also organised a glamorous Liam’s Smiles ball.

Keep smiling, keep fighting

“While Liam keeps smiling we must keep fighting and supporting a wonderful, supportive and sympathetic charity that has given us so much strength.”

Becky Doyle

For more on Liam’s story see the website www.liamssmiles.co.uk

“I’d like to pass on my congratulations to Harry and Liam on winning this Children of Courage Award – it’s a richly deserved honour for all they, and the rest of the family, do to fight back against this awful disease.”

Steve Dayman MBE

Launched last year, The Midlands Children of Courage Awards is an annual fundraising event, honouring the region’s deserving children and at the same time raising funds for the St James’s Place Foundation, a grant-making charity that has distributed over £34 million to good causes over the last 22 years.