Published: 06:00, 06 October 2019
A remarkable teenager who has fought a life-threatening rare disorder has been recognised for his bravery in a national awards scheme.
Oakley Orange, of Empire Close, Strood, was picked from 100 nominations across the UK to be named Inspirational Child in a competition supported by patron Prince Harry.
The 13-year-old, who had an horrific reaction to medication losing 100% of his skin, hair and nails, will pick up his prize at a star-studded gala this month.
His name was put forward by his proud mother Lorraine Orange who, along with his father Steven, watched their son become unrecognisable.
Oakley was rushed to hospital after a severe rash appeared on his chest when he was seven.
He was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome and suffered multiple organ failure.
He has fought hard to lead as normal a life as possible, but continues to have health problems and is often in pain.
Oakley has returned to hospital on numerous occasions to encourage other children enduring the same issues as him, and has relived the most harrowing time of his life, speaking to blood donors to explain how donations helped to save him.
Mum-of-four Lorraine said: “No child should have to deal with the horrors that Oakley has faced.
"I believe that he deserves recognition for the way he has remained strong after everything he’s been through and even taken time to think of others and give them support and encouragement.”
Speaking at last year’s presentation, The Duke of Sussex, said: “The stories that we’ve all just heard - of resilience, strength of spirit and the power of working together were without doubt incredibly moving and motivating.”
Tara Parker, Wellchild’s director of programmes and a member of the judging panel, said: “We are moved by the bravery of the children, the stories of selfless care and support and dedication of doctors, nurses, teachers, brothers and sisters who make a great difference to the lives of seriously ill children and young people.
"Oakley truly deserves to be the winner of this award.”
He will receive his accolade at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, on Tuesday, October 15.
More by this authorNicola Jordan
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