TAKING to the stage in front of 200 spectators, little Morgan Sharpe, who was born with a rare condition which left him with a missing ear and eye, had his audience in tears as he sang his favourite Christmas carol.
Six-year-old Morgan may be among just 75 children in the country to suffer from Goldenhar Syndrome but the resilient boy, who had to receive a tracheotomy — an incision in his windpipe to keep it open – never allowed his breathing difficulties or his diminished hearing to keep him from singing to his heart’s content night and day.
On December 20, the Westlea Primary pupil took his passion to the next level at a charity show in aid of the Goldenhar Family Support Group and Swindon Ten to Eighteen Project.
Undaunted by the prospect of singing to sell-out crowds at Bath Road Methodist Church, he thanked guests for attending the Festival of Christmas Concert before launching into a moving rendition of Away in a Manger accompanied by SALOS.
As soon as he intoned the first words, his proud mother Kerry Holmes and grandfather Alan struggled to contain their emotion, along with the rest of the audience.
“There was not a dry eye in the whole place,” said Kerry, 29, from West Swindon. “It was absolutely amazing. He blew everyone away. The tracheotomy is closed off so he can sing and speak just fine.
“He was nervous during the rehearsal and was singing quietly but on the night he got straight up on the stage and thanked everyone for coming.
“He loved it so much he asked if he could do it again so he sang it again at the end. We were so proud of him. It melted my heart. He was so confident.”
As well as Goldenhar Syndrome, Morgan was diagnosed with a congenital abnormality known as butterfly vertebrae, which may cause his spine to curve as he grows. He was fitted with a prosthetic replacement for his missing eye.
Despite his physical disabilities, the boy’s keen intelligence, wisdom beyond his years and an indomitable zest for life never ceases to amaze his family.
“He absolutely loves music and he is always singing,” added Kerry. “He is such a happy and loving little boy. His condition affects his hearing but he doesn’t let it stop him from doing anything he wants to.
“He has managed to find ways round his disability.
“He is not like a normal six-year-old kid. He is so grown up. We call him ‘little old man’. He is so full of knowledge.”
His outstanding performance, which earned him a standing ovation, and the concert raised £1,005 for Goldenhar Family Support Group, which Morgan and Kerry attend regularly, and Swindon Ten to Eighteen Project.