THE MOTHER of 10 year-old Brian Kerr who passed away on Saturday morning has described him as a ‘legend.’
Gaye Kerr said that from an early age Brian, who suffered from a rare genetic blood disorder knew his hospital number 486400 off-by-heart.
Nurses at the special babies unit SCABO in Dundonald nicknamed him as ‘Bright Eyes’ as his eyes would follow them everywhere.
She said that in June 2002 the family were told by Dr Colin Stewart at Bristol Hospital that Brian was lent to them and not given.
They were told the chances that Brian would see his first birthday were unlikely. Gaye was told to go home and enjoy him as long as she could.
“They just did not know how determined my wee man would be,” said Gaye.
“When Brian was learning to walk he had frequent falls and often hit his head. I remember bringing him to a bike shop to buy him a helmet. As was our Thursday ritual we met our friends Julie and Kim at the park. That day we arrived with Brian wearing his helmet - my wee man was given his freedom.
“His eyes shone as he ran from pillar to post totally independent.”
She went onto say that his twin sister Helen was Brian’s boss and she would often tell Brian to take it easy.
“When Brian was four he started Meadow Bridge,” she said. “I was so worried in case he would be bullied due to his abnormalities but Brian was never bullied. He won the hearts of all the staff and pupils alike.
“Brian was a true legend.
“In P3 it was sports day I remember Brian insisting in getting involved in the sack race. I was on tenter hooks. How was my wee man going to manage?”
Gaye said that tears flowed down her face as Brian won the race.
“Brian wanted to learn Tae Kwondo so I asked Peter Stewart if he would take him on a one-to-one basis,” she said. “Peter said he would put him through his first exam. After sitting his exam Brian went onto his swimming lesson. At this stage we did not now if Brian had passed the exam or not. Peter then came into the viewing gallery and asked if Brian would come out of the pool. He told him that he had not only passed one belt but four.
“Brian was the first child to achieve a quadruple pass. As I sat I was as proud as punch. Brian just said ‘Oh sweet.’ He went back to the pool and continued his lessons. Brian took all his achievements in his stride.
“In June 2006 we were told his bone marrow was failing. There was a drug called oxynethalone which would help kick start his bone marrow.
“Four years later his body rejected the drug. On February 27 this year we got a phone call that my wee son had just weeks to live. Little did the consultant know just how determined my wee man was and would hold on as long as he could.
“In February he asked for a Lassie dog, and I asked why do you need a Lassie dog - you already have three dogs,
“He said that his cousin said that if I was to fall down a well it can phone 999.
“Needless to say on March 1 Brian got his Lassie dog and named him Buddy. The bond was instant. All the nurses told him that he had his mum round his wee finger. He said that it took three whole days to win her round normally it takes just a few seconds.
“Brian in his short ten years has touched the hearts of everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.
“He was not my wee Brian, he was everyone’s wee Brian. We cannot thank all the nurses, the Macmillan, community nurses, Dr Wilson and Dr McCarthy (that Brian would call Dr Awesome) enough for all they have done for my little son.
“I would like to thank especially Meadow Bridge for everything. He had such good friends. His special friend Jack Dillon I want him to remember him for all the good times, the three weeks in London and other good times they had together.
“We have not lost a friend we have gained an angel who will be with us every step of the way.”
She went on to say Brian’s brother Adam was his hero whom he idolised and Helen whom he truly loved.
“You laughed together,” she said. “Just cherish the time you both had. Helen and Brian were born together and are now reunited in Heaven.
“Somehow Adam and I will learn to smile again.”