• Durham OnAir

Christmas star Harry brings festive cheer to Durham City


A brave six-year-old has celebrated his first Christmas since finishing intense cancer

treatment, by lighting up a Durham City Christmas Tree.


Harry Coulson, from South Hetton, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at

just three years old and has spent much of his young life in hospital. Harry received

intensive chemotherapy, regular doses of steroids and made more than 50 overnight stays

whilst undergoing treatment at the Great North Children’s Hospital, in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.


In July this year, Harry and his family celebrated the end of his treatment and marked the

milestone by ringing a ceremonial bell in the hospital’s chemotherapy unit.


Harry was joined by his mum Joanne Johnson, dad Mike Coulson, and Cllr Watts Stelling,

Chairman of Durham County Council, to turn on the Christmas lights on the tree outside

County Hall, Durham, and the tree on the nearby Framwellgate Peth roundabout.


Cllr Stelling said: “I am delighted to meet Harry. He is such an inspiration and has

managed to stay positive and keep smiling throughout his long periods of treatment. I

would like to thank Harry for switching on our lights and wish him and his family a very

merry Christmas.”


Mum Joanne said: “Harry was super excited knowing he was going to turn on the

Christmas lights. He has been really looking forward to it as our family has missed out on

Christmas activities for the last three years due to chemotherapy, steroids, hospital stays

and having to shield during covid. We’re super proud of him and it was lovely to see the

huge smile on his face.”