William and Harry

Louise Russ with sons William and  Harry
Louise Russ with sons William and Harry
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MEET William and Harry.

And just like their royal namesakes, William is the older of the two brothers.

Little Harry is the latest addition to the family of William O’Brien – the little boy who sparked a special appeal to raise £34,000 for a minibus for Redmarsh School.

Proud mum Louise Russ said she was delighted William, nine, had a new sibling, who was born just seven weeks ago.

Louise, of Waring Drive, Thornton, said: “I found out I was pregnant when we were on holiday in Orlando.

“It was an amazing holiday. William absolutely loved it.

“We had a really nice time and William met all his favourite characters.

“And it’s just great the way they are with disabled children out there in America.

“It was while we were there I discovered I was pregnant. It was a bit of a shock.

“But it was really exciting.”

Little Harry was born on February 4.

He was named after his dad’s granddad, who was also called Harry.

Louise said: “I hadn’t really thought about the royals, but people have pointed out they are called William and Harry.

“William was named after his granddad and Harry was named after his great-granddad.

“I think Harry has been a bit of a surprise to William.

“He is having to get used to sharing me a little bit.

“He wasn’t sure at first about the new baby, but now he touches him and blows kisses to him.

“I’ve told him when Harry gets older, he will be someone for William to play with.”

Severely disabled William is now attending conductive education sessions once a week at Rainbow House, in Chorley.

When William was born, Louise was told he could have just months to live, as he had a rare chromosome disorder. But the youngster, who has severe learning difficulties, epilepsy and is unable to communicate or walk, has defied the odds.

Louise said: “William is doing really well. He is a cheeky chap and has a great sense of humour.

“Going to Rainbow House is making a difference for him, and he loves it.”

The Gazette first told William’s story in October 2009 when an appeal was launched to raise the £2,500 needed to buy him a specialist piece of equipment, called a Safespace, to prevent him from being injured in his sleep.

His tale so captured the hearts of generous readers, the money soon flooded in and it was decided to extend the William’s Wish appeal to raise £34,000 for a minibus for his school, Red Marsh in Thornton.

The target was smashed and the school was presented with the bus earlier this month.

Louise said: “The bus is great, the school is so pleased with it and it’s making such a big difference for them.

“We would like to thank The Gazette and the generosity of everybody who donated and helped the appeal.”