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WATCH: Scotland’s football stars film moving video messages for ‘very poorly’ Reece Mitchell



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Reece's family shared images of him wearing his prized Scotland top alongside the video.
Reece’s family shared images of him wearing his prized Scotland top alongside the video.

Scotland’s football stars have recorded a moving video message for North Kessock boy Reece Mitchell (10), who is afflicted with a rare and terminal neurodegenerative condition and is now “very poorly”.

Reece, who was diagnosed with the CLN2 variant of Batten’s disease at the aged of five, has been left unable to walk, talk, eat and see as a result of the incurable illness.

Life expectancy for people with Batten disease can vary, but for those diagnosed as young children, it can be as little as five or six years after onset of symptoms. In Reece’s case, his family understand that his life expectancy will be about 12.

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Reece and his family are frequent visitors to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland’s (CHAS) Rachel House hospice in Kinross – where Reece is able to socialise with other children and his family are able to take a break from their full-time care responsibilities.

His most recent visit was just last month, but he took ill while there, which prompted an unexpected extension to his trip and a post from his mum. Donna Mitchell, on the family’s Reece’s Batten Journey Facebook page.

On April 28, she posted: “The last few days he’s been quite poorly and we have had more discussions as where we go from here and is this start of end of life care.

“We just don’t know, Reece is the boss in this journey but he’s tired and losing lots of weight, he’s been having a few seizures.”

She continued: “He’s started on antibiotics as he’s having issues with his chest as well just because he’s not moving much so we are keeping an eye on that.

“I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone at CHAS for all the love and support, it feels like we have been wrapped up in a big warm, gentle hug ad we are all feeling safe and secure so Reece really did pick the best time to do this as if we were at home i would be having to get on with it.

“Obviously we cannot take Reece out so we are making the most of doing stuff in the house, so we have been enjoying sunbathing, we had a movie night and Reece even got some ice cream down his Peg so he didn’t miss out.

“So for now its just a case of seeing how things go but we making the most of every minute with Reece and we are so grateful to be here at the house.”

That and other recent posts have now sparked a wonderful gesture from Scotland’s national squad, with players and management staff recording well-wishes for Reece in a video that has now been shared online.

Inverness-born Ryan Christie was among them. In the video, which you can watch below, he said: “Hi Reece. Thank you so much for your amazing support. Myself and the rest of the Scotland team really appreciate it. And hopefully in the summer you’ll get to watch us win a few games at the Euros hopefully. I see you’re ready to support with your Scotland top there – absolutely love it. Keep fighting mate. Lets hope we can win a few games for you.”

Posting her “huge thanks” to them on the Facebook page yesterday, Donna wrote: “Reece is now very poorly and is on a pump syringe but he is comfortable and now not in any pain so it’s just a case of taking it day by day.

“We are using this time to make as many memories as we can and I put a post out on social media to see if we could get Reece some messages from the Scotland team.

“And thanks to everyone sharing we have had an amazing response and some incredible messages from Ryan Christie, Laurence Shankland, John McGinn, Andy Robertson, Lyndon Dykes, Billy Gilmour and assistant manager John Carver. So a huge thanks to them for taking the time to do it and make this time extra special for us.”

Sharing the video a few hours later, she added: “A huge thanks to everyone who made this possible, it’s made us all smile and our hearts are bursting with pride.”

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