Farewell to Freddie

You were one in a million

Andy Lambeth

2021-06-10 4 min read

It was the End of Year Student Awards evening 2021 at Fulkin Hill Secondary School. A lump formed in the headmaster’s throat as he walked up to the rostrum to present the final award of the evening for a very special student. He had publicised the event to the mainstream media and was pleased as punch when the BBC emailed him to inform him that they were sending a reporter down to cover the event. This would be his proudest moment. He adjusted the microphone and began to address the audience.

“We are honoured to have Mr. and Mrs. Righteous here with us this evening to receive the posthumous ‘Bravery at School’ award on behalf of their son Freddie. Please come and join me Mr. and Mrs. Righteous.

It is often the case in times of national crisis that the fine young people of this country turn out to be the heroes of the day and the Covid pandemic has been a wonderful example of this. We offer our heartfelt thanks to the millions of vaccinated children all around the country for courageously stepping forward and doing their bit. In particular, we want to thank Freddie, who sadly cannot be with us tonight. Of course it is not only Freddie whom we should thank but also our excellent teachers at Fulkin Hill who persuaded him to take the vaccination via the ‘Just a Little Prick’ learning resources. These resources are an invaluable aid in educating children and parents who may be vaccine hesitant. They dispel many widespread myths about the Covid vaccine, like the absurd claim that the vaccines might be dangerous in some way. Here at Fulkin Hill we have no time for that sort of negativity. Thank goodness parents like Mr. and Mrs. Righteous had a more informed and positive attitude when they proactively helped Freddie through the ‘Just a Little Prick’ learning resources and then went on to volunteer at many of our ‘Just a Little Prick’ parents evenings. Indeed Mr. and Mrs. Righteous were first in the queue to get all three of their boys vaccinated. They informed me earlier this evening that their other two children also suffered adverse reactions to the vaccine but thankfully they have not been anywhere near as severe as Freddie’s. Indeed we hope to see Bertie and Sammy Righteous back in school very soon once their prosthetic limbs have arrived. We will be holding a ‘Just a Little Prick’ Fun Day to celebrate their return, to which all parents...erm I mean all vaccinated parents will be invited.

It is of course very sad that Freddie is no longer with us but I am sure he is in a better place now. Freddie was always a generous natured boy and he is probably looking down at an obese man in his fifties, as we speak, feeling proud that he might possibly have helped to save his life. Or perhaps Freddie’s spirit is smiling sweetly at an eighty-five year old woman in a care home with the hope that his personal sacrifice might allow her to enjoy one last Christmas. Who knows - maybe this year she might even be able to see her grandchildren. Indeed the sad loss of Freddie makes us more determined to continue with our amazing child vaccination programme until every child in the school has had the jab. Recent statistics show that the chance of a child dying from the jab is only about one in a million, so now Freddie has died it is very unlikely that we will have another death from the vaccine in this school…touch wood.

We should view the extraordinary achievements of the child vaccination programme and the ‘Just a Little Prick’ campaign as Freddie’s legacy, as its success would not have been possible without him and others like him. To give you some idea of the extent of that success it is worth pointing out that in the weeks prior to child vaccination there was an average of seven people a day dying from Covid in the UK. Now over six million children have had at least one jab and the average is still seven Covid deaths a day. This is a remarkable accomplishment considering that computer modellers at Imperial College predicted the number would double by this date. I would like you to join me in a round of applause to celebrate this wonderful success story…

After the award ceremony, please do visit the school courtyard, where last week our local MP, the Right Honourable Ivor Lottasharesin-Pfizer, unveiled a giant statue in Freddie’s honour. It is a beautiful sculpture of Freddie created by his fellow year 9 art students and it is made entirely out of household recycling rubbish. The Righteous family are avid eco warriors and so the recycling theme of the sculpture was a particularly fitting tribute. Especially touching is the depiction of the syringe in Freddie’s arm, created out of an old washing up liquid bottle and a meat skewer. Mr. Lottasharesin-Pfizer made a moving and inspirational speech in which he honoured Freddie and the five other UK children who have sadly lost their lives from the vaccine. He said it’s a terrible shame that recently there has been some negative reporting of the ‘Just a Little Prick’ campaign and that we should not focus on the tiny number of tragic events. Rather we should remember that every single one of those little pricks helps us to protect the NHS and Build Back Better. Wise words indeed Mr. Lottasharesin-Pfizer. So tonight let’s consider the wonderful contribution Freddie has made to society by playing his part in the ‘Just a Little Prick’ campaign.

Please now stand with me for a minute’s silence in memory of Freddie Righteous.”

 

 

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