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'I'm so proud of you, Reece' First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tells brave Black Isle lad ahead of Batten Awareness Day

By Hector MacKenzie

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Reece Mitchell in his pod with mum Donna. Picture: Gary Anthony
Reece Mitchell in his pod with mum Donna. Picture: Gary Anthony

THE mum of a seriously ill Black Isle lad whose plight has inspired the local community was delighted when a letter from none other than the First Minister dropped through the letterbox this week.

Nicola Sturgeon's letter was addressed to Reece Mitchell of North Kessock, who lives with the life-limiting condition, Batten disease.

The seven-year-old, who lost the ability to to walk, talk and see, inspired a major fundraising drive ahead of the lockdown which resulted in a specially made pod being constructed in the garden of his home, dramatically improving the quality of life of his family.

Speaking ahead of Batten Awareness Day, which is marked today, his mum Donna Mitchell spoke of the pleasant surprise of Ms Sturgeon's letter and her commitment to wear something orange for the occasion. Ms Sturgeon wrote of how well he had done since taking ill in 2018 and told him "how brave I think you are".

She also referred to the difference she has been told the pod had made to Reece and revealed that the day would be marked by the Scottish Government "and i will be wearing something orange on the day too".

She added: "I am very proud of you, Reece, and I hope this letter finds you in good spirits."

Ms Mitchell said she was touched by the gesture. "We had written in regards to Batten Awareness Day and we did contact her last year but given the madness of everything we didn’t hear back so it was lovely to get a response and to see our First Minister showing support for all our Batten children."

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