A CARDROSS schoolboy’s remarkable year ended with a brief appearance on a TV programme this week celebrating some of Scotland’s unsung heroes.

Colgrain Primary pupil Mackenzie Cameron featured on the BBC’s Scotland’s People show, thanking some of those who went above and beyond to help others during a turbulent 2021.

Mackenzie’s message went out to Andrea and Alistair McKeown, who set up a charity, Rebecca Rocks!, after the death of their daughter Rebecca in 2009 to give children battling serious illness the chance to make unforgettable memories with their families at concerts and other big events.

It came at the end of a topsy-turvy year for 12-year-old Mackenzie – who, as the Advertiser reported back in March, contracted Covid at the end of 2020 and spent seven weeks in intensive care battling the disease.

Mackenzie was born with the same rare genetic condition, autoimmune enteropathy, which took the life of his big sister Caitlin in 2007, and because he’s triply immunosuppressed, was especially vulnerable to the effects of Covid.

But after two cardiac arrests and four respiratory arrests while in hospital, Mackenzie overcame the odds and beat the disease.

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The effects meant he had to learn to walk again – but by the spring he was out walking with his family as he, and other Colgrain pupils, staff and their friends and families, walked the equivalent of the distance between Helensburgh and Walt Disney World in Florida during their Easter holidays, raising £2,700 for two charities in the process.

Mackenzie’s story also led to him winning the Young Achiever accolade at the Scottish Children’s Health Awards in September – but in characteristically modest fashion, his brief TV appearance on Sunday’s programme, which is still available to watch on the iPlayer, wasn’t about himself.

He simply said: “I would like to thank Rebecca Rocks for making amazing memories.”

Looking back at Mackenzie’s award win, dad Richard said: “He was so chuffed to be nominated by the hospital for this and to win it was the icing on the cake.

“After everything he has been through and overcome, he definitely is a deserving winner. We are exceptionally proud of him.”