On Tuesday, the 32-year-old royal quietly visited the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where he reunited with Ollie and Amelia Carroll, two siblings who are both suffering from Batten disease, an incurable and terminal cellular disease that results in progressive neurological impairment. The visit was not part of his official duties, but when the photos were shared on the family’s Facebook page, news of the heartwarming hugfest quickly spread.
Harry first met Ollie last year at the WellChild Awards, where he won the most inspirational child award. The 6-year-old was diagnosed with Batten in February 2015, and sadly, the family discovered in March of this year that Amelia has the disease as well.
When Amelia and Ollie’s parents, Lucy and Mike Carroll, learned that Amelia and Ollie had the opportunity to receive a new treatment for Batten, they wrote to Prince Harry to update him about the new developments in their care.
“We finally had some hope!” thee Carrolls wrote on their Facebook page, Ollie’s Army Battling Against Battens. “We sat down and wrote a letter to Prince Harry, explaining our joy in yet was still the most heartbreaking time. We thanked him for giving our son the strength to stand when we thought this was no longer possible.”
And Harry, who is notoriously great with kids (even Michelle Obama says so), didn’t just respond to the letter: He paid the family an in-person visit at the hospital where they were receiving treatment.
The family shared two photos from the day (one of Harry with Ollie, and one of him with Amelia).
In the post, the Carrolls thanked Harry for spending time with their children and making them smile during their time in the hospital.
“For an hour Prince Harry sat with us talking and playing with our children, laughing and making memories,” they wrote of the visit. “The very thing our children want the most in life, to be happy and having fun.”
“We feel so much pride knowing that Ollie and Amelia are touching the lives of the people they meet, with their love and their strength,” the post read. “The love, the support and the laughter within that treatment room on Tuesday will stay with us forever.”