Prince Harry meets award-winning Houghton teen

WellChild Awards 2011 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane, London, with guest of honour Wellchild patron Prince Harry - Prince Harry meets Connor Rowntree, winner of the Bravest Young Person Award.
WellChild Awards 2011 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane, London, with guest of honour Wellchild patron Prince Harry - Prince Harry meets Connor Rowntree, winner of the Bravest Young Person Award.
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BURNS victim Connor Rowntree met Price Harry after receiving a national bravery award.

The Houghton 16-year-old was honoured at the annual UK Wellchild Awards, alongside other inspiring youngsters who have battled adversity and sickness.

WellChild Awards 2011 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane, London, with Guest of Honour Price Harry, Wednesday August 31st 2011.''Laura Hamilton with Connor Rowntree - Bravest Young Person (17) nominator (and Fire Support Worker) Julie Mullen with Barbara Windsor and Hannah Jones - Bravest Young Person (18)''Picture by Chris Fairweather - Thousand Word Media, NO SALES, NO SYNDICATION contact for more information mob: 07775556610 web: www.thousandwordmedia.com email: antony@thousandwordmedia.com''''The photographic copyright (� 2011) is exclusively retained by the works creator at all times and sales, syndication or offering the work for future publication to a third party without the photographer's knowledge or agreement is in breach of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, (Part 1, Section 4, 2b). Please contact the photographer should you have any questions with regard to the use of the attached work and any rights involved.

WellChild Awards 2011 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane, London, with Guest of Honour Price Harry, Wednesday August 31st 2011.''Laura Hamilton with Connor Rowntree - Bravest Young Person (17) nominator (and Fire Support Worker) Julie Mullen with Barbara Windsor and Hannah Jones - Bravest Young Person (18)''Picture by Chris Fairweather - Thousand Word Media, NO SALES, NO SYNDICATION contact for more information mob: 07775556610 web: www.thousandwordmedia.com email: antony@thousandwordmedia.com''''The photographic copyright (� 2011) is exclusively retained by the works creator at all times and sales, syndication or offering the work for future publication to a third party without the photographer's knowledge or agreement is in breach of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, (Part 1, Section 4, 2b). Please contact the photographer should you have any questions with regard to the use of the attached work and any rights involved.

Yesterday’s charity event, of which Harry is a patron, will have been particularly poignant for the Prince as it was the 14th anniversary of the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

Awards were also presented by celebrity supporters including Barbara Windsor, Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood, Blue and Duncan Bannatyne.

Connor received the Bravest Child Award 16–plus, sponsored by AXA healthcare.

He was 15 when he was badly injured and almost died after a prank with an aerosol went wrong.

Using his harrowing experiences to help others, he teamed up with the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service for a potentially life-saving campaign targeting youngsters.

He said: “The reaction I’ve had from people when they say I’ve been an inspiration and the success of the campaign has been so much more than I thought it would be.

“I’m glad I’ve been able to take what happened to me and use it for something positive.”

Connor has had almost 100 operations and skin grafts over 14 months at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

A keen motosport and Formula 1 fan, he is about to start the second year of a mechanics course at college and hopes to restart his former hobby of karting.

Connor also plans to embark on a fire officer course with a view to training for a career as a firefighter after having seen first hand the impact the work of the fire service and its offices can have.

“Becoming a firefighter is something I’m considering doing since my accident and because of my experience.

“Despite what happened to me, I think it has made me a better person.

“Throughout the two years, I’ve had the support of my family and the same group of friends.

“I’m now at the stage where I don’t struggle with anything. That wasn’t always the case, at one time doctors thought I wouldn’t make it.

“But now there is nothing I can’t do that I couldn’t do before. It is as if the accident never happened.”

Mam Carol said: “I’m just so very, very proud of him and feel he deserves all the recognition he is getting.

“The way he has dealt with what has happened is amazing and now he is like any other teenager, going out and enjoying himself with his friends.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho