Storyteller Michael Loader remembers Henry Bromberg, our incredible Young Ambassador who lost his battle with a rare heart condition last month.
15th August 2016
I got to know Henry and his family through telling stories with Readathon at the Royal Gloucester Hospital. We always made up stories together from a bag of objects I bring along when visiting children and families.
The first time we met Henry took out every single object and connected them together to make an entire story, I just sat and listened to his animated adventures involving mad clowns, TV remotes capable of blowing up the world, spirited and joyful bees, megalomaniac footballers and flying spoons. His imagination was vivid, his telling expressive and true.
We met 5 times and during those encounters I experienced more humour, spontaneity, joy, honesty, personal insight and opinion from one person than I have received in my 50 years from others. His stories were personal expressing his wishes, dreams, questions, hopes and fears. He was a storyteller’s dream, he was an enthralling storyteller.
Just before Henry moved to Birmingham Children’s Hospital we shared one of the most joyous occasions I’ve ever had in my life!
I had given Henry his own story bag with objects, which he was so delighted with and true to form he set off in full gusto on a storytelling adventure romp! I added something from time to time playing second fiddle, and Bob (his Dad) jumped in when he could. But we soon realized that we all SO wanted to tell the story and the result became the most playful and serious riot of three way story battling I’ve ever taken part in! Whilst Becks was videoing it on her phone Henry was muffling Bob’s mouth with his hand to stop him speaking, I would take the chance to jump in and tell before being pushed aside.
We were all in tears of joy with Henry’s infectious laugh at the centre.
I will miss him so much… AND this is what I will remember him for, his dynamic energy, his determination, his outspokenness, his knowing of what he wanted and most of all for the JOY he brought to me and us all. Henry was himself, his own self, wholesome and wholehearted…